The 49ers were recognized as ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year during an awards ceremony Tuesday evening in Los Angeles.
Co-chair Dr. John York accepted the honor on behalf of the organization. Safety Eric Reid, who is a regular participant in the organization’s community programs and events, was among the group that represented the 49ers for the announcement.
“Every Sunday, the 49ers take the field to win. The other 349 days of the year, we want to be the best football team and the best community citizens,” York said. “Through the 49ers Foundation’s efforts to keep kids ‘Safe, On Track, and In School,’ we inspire Bay Area children to succeed in life using sports as a pathway.”
The 49ers were named as finalists for the award the past two years.
The Humanitarian Team of the Year Award honors a sports team that demonstrates how teamwork between athletes and their team’s community relations efforts or foundations can create a positive impact on a community or cause. The 49ers will receive a $100,000 grant to be directed towards a charity that supports the organization’s humanitarian efforts.
The 49ers donated more than 1,200 hours of volunteer time to 75 community events and committed $4 million to local non-profits in 2016.
Among the organization’s off-the-field accomplishments:
--The 49ers’ STEM Leadership Institute is a six-year curriculum that begins in 7th grade, continues through high school, and seeks to prepare students with high academic potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). During the 2016-2017 school year, over 40,000 hours of education have been provided, including integrated and open lab hours, tutoring, and enrichment events. Of the 60 students in the 2020 class, 50% have 4.0 GPAs and the average GPA is 3.81.
--The 49ers’ STEAM Education Program, which opened in 2014, provides informal learning experiences for K-8 students through its program that teaches standards-aligned (Common Core and Next Generation Science) lessons using the STEAM principles of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Housed within the Denise DeBartolo York Education Center at Levi’s Stadium, the program has reached over 150,000 participants since inception – free of charge – with over 50 percent of students coming from Title I designated schools.
--The team’s youth efforts additionally translate on the field, where the team promotes football-focused physical activity for boys and girls through the 49ers Youth Football Program. The program, experienced by more than 31,000 participants as part of 138 events held in partnership with the NFL’s “Play 60” initiative in 2016, encourages children to get outside and play for 60 minutes each day.
--In September, the 49ers announced a pledge from the organization's charitable arm, the 49ers Foundation, matching match then-quarterback Colin Kaepernick's commitment of $1 million, to two Bay Area charities that address social issues in collaboration with law enforcement.