Donovan Mitchell’s Legacy 

On a basketball court, an NBA basketball player is on left high-fiving a young student on the right. Four onlookers in the background smile and take pictures from their phones.

I think that’s one of the coolest things to me, especially coming from a kid ‘cuz it’s like you’re making that child’s day, and maybe that child’s life, you never know.
NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell

Everyone notices when Donovan Mitchell walks into The Children’s Village—a nonprofit organization located in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Kids look at him like he’s the coolest person on Earth. He returns their looks with a big smile. He has clearly achieved his goal of being a bright light in their lives. Giving back means the world to him.

Each year, The Children’s Village helps over 17,000 children, teens, and families through a variety of innovative community and residential programs. At its campus in Dobbs Ferry, the organization works with system-involved young people to help develop attitudes and skills needed to become educationally proficient, economically productive, and socially responsible members of their communities.

Donovan’s grandma inspired him

Donovan’s grandmother was a strong presence at The Children’s Village as a teacher, and his mother continues to contribute. As a kid, his grandmother instilled the importance of a good education. Anything is possible with the power of knowledge. According to Donovan, she would be happy to know his partnership with Microsoft has empowered kids to grow through access to technology. The goal is to get them excited about learning STEM and give them the confidence they need to explore new opportunities.

Three people sit smiling in the middle of a basketball court with empty white chairs behind them. From right to left, the people seated are NBA star Donovan Mitchell, his sister and his grandmother.
Donovan with his grandmother Blossom Woolcock-Wright, and his sister, Jordan Mitchell

Donovan knows the path to success isn’t easy. His grandmother’s influence helped him when things got tough. She taught him the value of applying himself.  “My grandmother was there for me and my mom when things weren’t easy. She saw things we didn’t see,” said Donovan. “And now here we are enjoying the fruits of her labor. We’re very thankful to show kids you can do anything through education.”

Together with Microsoft, he’s built a tech lab at The Children’s Village. Microsoft developed a customized curriculum that covers a wide range of topics including coding, professional development, 3D animation, internet safety, and beyond. The lab is stocked with Surface Pro 7s with Office 365 licenses, giving kids access to what they need to learn and grow.

Through giving back, Donovan has become a positive influence for at-risk kids. He believes the foundations of STEM teach strong problem-solving skills. His grandmother would beam with pride over his contributions to The Children’s Village. “She’d be truly honored. She’d be very thankful because this was so near and dear to her heart. She’s so near and dear to us,” said Donovan. “And like I said, it starts with the education, the STEM program.”