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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The plan was to make a school beautiful with the help of a retired baseball superstar who just happens to own the Miami Marlins.
From painting murals and sprucing planting areas to building and cleaning, there were about 100 students from out-of-state who took part in getting their hands dirty for a good cause. The students are part of a program called “Jeter’s Leaders.”
“This community is extremely important to me and my family, now that I’m here so we wanted to bring the foundation here to Miami,” said Derek Jeter.
Jeter’s Leaders is a four-year program designed to help kids grow and develop in all areas of life. Wednesday it put students on the ground in Miami at Jose De Diego Middle School, spreading positivity through art. Having students do the work was important to Jeter.
“Peer to peer is much more impactful than adults,” he said.
Nia Brooks flew in from New York and helped with a basketball court makeover by painting new lines.
“I just know that I’m giving back to them and I’m giving them something that they don’t have,” she said.
For the students it goes both ways, they said they were also getting something in return.
“I feel like we did a good job for these kids, just for them to have a new court, basically it was just heartfelt,” said New York student Ky’ir Durant.
The program is funded in part by Goldman Sachs but it was created by Jeter and his sister, Sharlee Jeter, who is the president of the foundation.
Students were sent to create murals to transform the school and paint messages, words of kindness because Sharlee Jeter said environment matters.
“To be able to come to a place that looks nice, that they’re proud of, that is positive, I mean that’s only going to make them do better in school,” she said.
The organization Hands on Miami helped customize the day of service and chose the school because there was a need.
“When you know people care about it and they take care of it, you have a sense of pride too,” said Dale Mandell, president of Hands On Miami.
In total there were 19 different projects completed while school was in session, students at Jose De Diego got to see the makeover happen before their eyes.
By Rielle Creighton