NBA basketball player Jeremy Lin has reflected on the strong women in his life and said their example inspired him to partner with One Day's Wages, an organization dedicated to empowering girls with secondary education and vocational training.
The Christian athlete shared that one of his grandmothers earned her medical degree in Asia and then immigrated to the United States and got her medical license again, in a second language. His other grandmother raised a family of five after her husband passed away, and Lin credited his mother, Shirley, for championing his passion for basketball from the time he was young.
"Without her I could never have achieved my dream of playing in the NBA," he said.
Lin also praised his female cousins for doing "important work" in the non-profit, public health, and education sectors and his sister-in-law for leading the management of his off-the-court business and activities.
"I know first-hand how capable women are, and I've relied on the women in my life to help me in so many ways," he said. "I've also gotten a glimpse into some of the things that women encounter when they try to succeed - whether it's some of the judgments or stereotypes that they face daily or what society tells them they should do or be. None of this makes any sense to me. When I look at my nieces, who are some of the most creative, intelligent and compassionate girls I know, I hope that they have all the opportunities that boys have growing up."
The Christian athlete pointed that around the world today, girls face many barriers in obtaining an education - in fact, 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.
"They are prevented from going to school because of issues like unaffordable school fees, forced child marriage, and lack of sanitary products," Lin said. "But we know that if investment is made into girls' education, their families and communities benefit. Giving girls equal access to education is one of the best ways to help break the cycle of poverty."
To combat this issue, the athlete said he decided to partner with One Day's Wages to raise awareness regarding girls education.
"I hope you will join me in my campaign," he concluded. "When women are empowered, we are all better off."
On the organization's website, Lin revealed he will donate his $30,000 salary for the March 17 game against the Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Lin and One Day's Wages have also set a $200,000 goal with the Harvard alumnus giving $100 for each three-point shot he makes for the rest of the season.
"Millions of girls across the globe are unable to get the education they need to provide for themselves and their families. This is due to unaffordable school fees, forced child marriage, lack of sanitary products when they reach puberty, and many other barriers. My hope is to shed some light on these issues, and invite you to join me in taking action," Lin wrote on the One Day's Wages website.