The Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association award that recognizes the league's "ideal teammate" who exemplifies "selfless play and commitment and dedication to his team." The award is named after Maurice Stokes. The two played together on the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals from 1955 to 1958 until Stokes' career was cut short after he suffered a head injury from a fall during a game against the Minneapolis Lakers. Stokes would become paralyzed due to post-traumatic encephalopathy. Twyman became Stokes' legal guardian and advocate until Stokes died in 1970; every year, 12 players, six from each conference, are selected by a panel of NBA legends as nominees. NBA players cast votes for the award, with ten points given for each first-place vote, seven for a second-place vote, five points for third, three points for fourth, one point for each fifth-place vote received; the player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.
The winner of this award is presented with the Twyman–Stokes Trophy. As a part of the award, the NBA makes a $25,000 donation to charity of the recipient's choice. Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups was the inaugural winner of the award in 2013; that year, Miami Heat forward Shane Battier finished second and New York Knicks guard Jason Kidd placed third. Shane Battier would win the award for the 2013–14 season. Al Jefferson came in second and Dirk Nowitzki finished third. Tim Duncan went on to win the award for the 2014–15 season. Vince Carter came in second and Elton Brand finished third. After coming in at second the previous year, Carter won the award for the 2015–16 season. Nowitzki is the only international player to win the award; the most recent winner was Mike Conley Jr.. Sports portal "Sports Trophies – Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award – Marc Mellon Sculpture Studio". Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is a federal grant program administered by the United States Department of Education. It was established in Chapter 2 of the 1998 amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 which awarded financial assistance to students and colleges from the federal government. GEAR UP was authored by Congressman Chaka Fattah and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October, 1998; the goal of GEAR UP is to increase the number of these students who matriculate into in-state public universities. The grant operates on a six-year grant program; the grants are divided into two groups: partnership grants. State grants must include a plan to contact students prior to the prospective students arriving as university students; the plan must show an intention to increase the rate of college-going for low-income students in addition to providing a scholarship to students. In addition, it must prepare students to succeed at the college level. Partnership grants have the same goals, they are only required to fulfill the early intervention component.
Partnership grants may support scholarship efforts for low-income students as well. Both grant types work to assist cohorts of students, beginning in the seventh grade; this cohort is followed by the grant program throughout high school, with some students receiving scholarships to help them attend in-state public universities. For a State agency to be eligible to apply for a GEAR UP grant, the agency must be designated by the governor of that State; each state may only apply for up to one GEAR UP grant at a time. For partnership grants, applying partnerships must consist of "one or more local educational agencies and one or more degree-granting institutions of higher education and not less than two other community organizations or other entities such as businesses, professional organizations, or state agencies" to be eligible. Unlike state grants, partnerships may apply for, receive, multiple partnership grants concurrently. All applicants are able to access Grants.gov to retrieve the application and upload the complete application back to the website.
Applicants that are awarded grants are required to submit annual performance reports to ensure that their implementation of these funds falls in line with the mission of the US Department of Education. Nationally, GEAR UP programs have at least helped to spur some interest about college in low-income communities. In 2006, 66 percent of student survey respondents had spoken with someone about college entrance requirements. Of this same population, 55% of students were able to speak with someone about the availability of financial aid. Funding for the program has grown in recent years, increasing from $301,639,000 million dollars in fiscal year 2015, to $322,754,000 in fiscal year 2016, to 339,752,985 in fiscal year 2017. On March 21, 2018, Congress agreed to increase the national funding for GEAR UP programs by 2.9 percent. The GEAR UP chapter focuses on the Early Intervention and College Awareness Program; this program provides a guarantee of financial aid to low-income students who have obtained a secondary diploma or its equivalent.
The program was designed to aid students in elementary and high school to be aware of the benefits of higher education, to reach the educational level necessary to attend an institute of higher education. Institutions eligible for grant money include states, partnerships between middle schools, high schools and universities, community organizations and businesses; the grant stipulates that at least 50% of the participants must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, or are at or below 150% of the Federal poverty level. Each entity devises its own plan, submits the plan to the Secretary of Education, evaluates the plan on a biennial basis; the submitted plan must describe the activities to be implemented and provide the necessary assurances that the grant money will be matched by the entity. Eligible entities must implement the plan so it impacts students for the first time no than their seventh grade year, therefore many programs are initiated in middle schools and extended to the associated high school.
Entities receiving grant money are given a fair amount of autonomy. Each plan is implemented independent of other entities. However, each plan must include comprehensive mentoring, counseling and supportive services, including financial aid counseling, providing information and activities regarding college admissions, achievement tests, application procedures, improving parental involvement. Funds can support identification of at-risk children, after school and summer tutoring, assistance in obtaining summer jobs, academic counseling and parent involvement, providing former or current scholarship recipients as mentor or peer counselors, skills assessment, providing access to rigorous core courses that reflect challenging academic standards, personal counseling, family counseling and home visits, staff development, programs for students of limited English proficiency, summer programs for remedial, developmental or supportive purposes. For students who complete the middle school and high school programs, there are scholarships available.
In order to be eligible for this students must be less than 22 years of age and have participated in the early intervention component of the program. Not more than 10% of the students from a secondary school can be eligible, in a process requiring application and dependent in part on class rank; these students must attend in-state higher education institutes, unless t