The Potomac School announced the recipient of its annual Award for Exemplary Service, which recognizes individuals in the wider community who are making an important difference through service to others. Omari Pearson, founder of Passion to Purpose, received the award during a school-wide assembly honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2010 – after playing collegiate, and professional basketball – Pearson founded Passion to Purpose, a mentoring company that aims to inspire and empower students. The organization provides career counseling and mentoring services. Over the last 14 years, he has partnered with high schools, colleges, and universities across the U.S. and internationally. It is estimated that Passion to Purpose has worked with more than 300,000 students to help them plan for their future by making informed, research-based decisions.
Potomac’s director of community engagement, James Hightower III, notes, “Mr. Pearson’s story and his dedication to helping the youth is inspiring. As he would tell you, statistically, he was not supposed to have become an author, entrepreneur, professional athlete, proud father, or mentor. But he did– and he wants to help others do the same.” Hightower continues, “As Mr. Pearson says, ‘A dream must be attached to a plan of action to prevent it from becoming a fantasy.’”
Pearson authored "Keys to Rebuilding Your Foundation" in 2010, which has grown into a curriculum that is serving students in states across the United States. Based in the Washington, DC, area, Pearson works with Montgomery County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, and Baltimore County Public Schools, and a variety of colleges, in addition to serving as a consultant and trainer to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Upon receiving the award, Pearson reflected, “Often times we start with a dream, and we never really think about how the legacy of what we chase will position those that will follow us. Am I blazing a trail only for myself to follow? If we do that, we miss the whole opportunity of service. To serve, means that I am now willing to let others stand on my shoulders.”
He then challenged the community to look for small acts of service they can act on each day.