Unaware of the impact sports had on youth, Executive Director and founder Nelly Epic reflects on her earliest memories of how sports saved her life at the age 13. This Lebanon native became a member of the sports community in Rochester, New York giving her life new meaning. Participating in youth sports taught Nelly, teamwork, social skills, healthy habits, self-discipline, sportsmanship and listening, all key as she moved into adulthood.
Epic’s love of sports and watching a local youth sports teams struggle to raise the money to participate in an interscholastic competition ignited her to start Good People Deserve Wins Too (GPDW2), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to youth and local sports teams, currently enrolled in athletic programs in and around Upstate New York.
It was access to positive outlets and the people who cared that ultimately changed her life. Epic’s goal is that GPDW2 is an extension of that same love and community. The mission is to strengthen the community by empowering and enhancing youth by utilizing athletics to develop well rounded youth, both in mind and body, through mentoring, training, and health and fitness activities. Our core values center around well- being, character and community.
Our goal is to utilize athletics to develop well-rounded youth, both in mind and body, through mentoring, training, and health/fitness activities. GPDW2 is here to provide financial support for sports teams, with a defined criteria, where sports are a highly-valued part of everyday life. We wish introduce and pair coaches to leaders in sports as mentors, through group and one-on-one mentoring programs. To achieve these goals, we will partner and build alliances with public and private organizations to provide opportunities and resources that will broaden young athletes' experiences in competitive sports.
GPDW2 strives to be a change-agent by fostering excellence in the area of social well-being, character and community in urban and diverse communities, ensuring that their love and knowledge for sports broadens through both education and experience. GPDW2 creates opportunities for young athletes to reach their highest potential on and off the field.
The founding principles of GPDW2 are based on the belief that sports define discipline, teamwork and self-confidence. These principles empower individuals whether they pursue a career in professional sports or not. This is for LIFE.
I’ve always been inspired by the saying “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I’ve lived my life thus far with the desire to do just that. This is what influenced my decision to be a part of GPDW2.
As the Director of Finance & Operations, I operate behind the scenes, to keep daily operations well organized and running efficiently. With close to 13 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant, I am skilled in the art of numbers and I’d consider myself an expert at my craft. I’m thrilled be part GPDW2, a women lead organization driven by the desire to make a difference, leave an impact, and be the change.
Sharee is a journalist who seeks out the stories no one wants. Her passions are for the arts, the health industry and every now and then will find a story on how both collide.
As a graduate of Newhouse at Syracuse University, she has been given the chance to interview Kurtis Blow (godfather of hip-hop), NF, Frank Marshall (Hollywood's favorite producer of films such as Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones) and Matt Shakman (director of HBO's Game of Thrones) just to name a few. She has been a project leader for an NIH case study and is known for her advocacy locally for Sickle Cell anemia. As a patient of the illness herself, Sharee knows the tips, tricks, and hidden doors it takes to survive dealing with a chronic illness in a medical industry that sometimes doesn't even acknowledge her existence.
Her drive is now for those still here to make sure they live with dignity and for those to come who never have to question theirs. Her faith is her anchor and now she wants to tell people living with any disease or disability what she was never told: “live fearlessly.”
Where there is a Nelly...there is a way. Good people deserve wins too, where people are put before profits and are organized to strengthen our community by empowering and enhancing our youth.
My goal is to utilize athletics to develop well rounded youth, both in mind and body, through mentoring, training, and health and fitness activities. As a successful General Manager at Panera Bread, Co-Owner of Xcelerated Athletics Gym, and founder of Trifecta Sports Basketball Courts, I would consider my strengths to be my leadership and people skills along with the ability to promote a positive mindset, while accomplishing our goals.
I have come to realize over the years and being part of many different teams, the importance of connection and self-worth. Creating teams that promote positive mindset, healthy environment, and family style bonds in key in achieving sustainable change. With that realization, I have made it my passion and goal to continue this path working with our youth to guide their reachable potential and cause a positive ripple effect in our community.
Cassandra Thompson, a native of FarRockaway, NY; relocated to Rochester, NY in 2003 where I studied and received my BS in business administration with a concentration in accounting at Nazareth College, as well as MS in Human Resource Administration.
During my graduate studies I worked with student activities and food services. I loved every moment of my time working with the student leaders and giving them the assistance to bring their ideas and passions to the student body. Upon completion of my masters degree, I was given the opportunity to work as Nazareth College's Resident Dining Manager for their student dining program. Since then I have been in food services going on 12 yrs, working in many different sectors, servicing people through their stomachs.
Throughout my career I have always had the desire to serve and educate the underserved communities. GPDW2 is giving me the opportunity to help service our community through health, wealth, fitness and fun. One or all are important components for an individual or family, many do not have access to these things. I am excited that will be able to provide these services and opportunities. My dream is that we will be able to make an impact on our community one person and family at a time.
My name is Kaela Pitts and I was raised in Rochester NY. I am currently a Sergeant with the Rochester Police Department. I have been with RPD for 15 years.
While working with RPD, I have had the ability to learn many functions of the job rather than just patrol. I am very involved in training Police Recruits in Physical Fitness and Defensive Tactics. I have trained Police Recruits for 2 years in the academy as their Class Counselor which allowed me to oversee all of their training. I have been involved in the Recruitment portion and Backgrounds. With working with RPD, I believe that it's very important to be a part of the community.
I have had the ability to volunteer my time with our youth through fitness, summer camps, and reading in schools. I am very passionate about fitness and giving back to my community. I am passionate about showing our youth that they are worth more than they believe, and there are people out here who care about them and want to show them that there is so much more available to them.
As a designer, I have always have tried to incorporate empathy and inclusivity in all my work. Since the beginning, I have deeply valued being able to use my design skills to connect with people and my community, especially when it is for a good cause.
I have done design work for a number of non-profits, and am proud to be part of the GPDW2 team. I've been helping with all the design needs and marketing assets.
Beyond the design, I love cooking, astronomy, and cats, as well as spending quality time with my family and friends.
Vicky and Craig have played a large role in helping the GPDW2 organize and plan the upcoming 24 HR Tailgate event. With their knowledge and love for the Rochester community, they have helped to coordinate vendors and locations and provide crucial insight.