ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan has been a global ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands, and this weekend he returned home for the start of an early education initiative for children in St. Croix.
Duncan was there to support the implementation of the Yes! Our Kids Can program in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which begins this fall.
The program aims to help every parent and teacher create an expectation of success and prosperity in the minds of every disadvantage child. The ultimate goal is higher education and career readiness.
Duncan said he was approached about the program months ago and when he returned to San Antonio, he and his significant other, Vanessa Macias, discussed bringing the program to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Macias and their daughter, Quill, made the trip to St. Croix with Duncan.
“I was blown away by it. I went home and told Vanessa about it. She said we need to take this program and implement it in the Virgin Islands because it is easy to do and it will have a great impact on the kids, not only for the short term but the long term,” said Duncan. “We’re very excited about it and I know it will do great things for the kids of the Virgin Islands.”
The Tim Duncan Foundation donated $500,000 to support the organization’s mission.
The weekend also included a tour of St. Croix with former President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Clintons discussed the island’s Early Head Start program and increasing energy capacity in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of a hurricane that devastated the U.S. territory in 2017.
Duncan has spearheaded numerous funding, philanthropic and relief efforts for the islands after they were struck by Hurricane Maria.
Stacey Plaskett, delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Albert Bryan, the governor of U.S. Virgin Islands, were also in attendance for the day’s events.