-- College basketball coach Nesta Felix has taken her coaching to a bigger playing field: life.
She started her after-school youth basketball coaching program NewFlex in Mt. Vernon, New York six years ago on her own dime and her own time. Since then, it’s grown into a mentoring center, study hall and a place to learn how to grow up in our world.
“Keeping them [kids] out of gang involvement, the pressure, keeping them out of drugs, keeping our females away from teenage pregnancy,” mother Brenda Crump said on “Good Morning America” of what Felix’s program teaches her child.
“I feel that I have made myself a better person, ‘cause without Coach Felix I would probably be on the street, doing the wrong thing or following other people. She’s a miracle” a mentee added on “GMA."
With little funding and even less support, Felix, 35, runs the program by herself. Coach Felix, as she’s called, has contributed to so many community members that they’ve taken to calling her an “angel.”
“She spreads herself very thin,” Crump said. “I don’t know how she does it.”
In the spirit of holiday giving, this morning, “GMA” – with a little help from some friends – saluted this holiday hero, unveiling a brand-new computer lab and office at her center.
“This is beautiful. Oh my goodness,” Felix said when she saw the space.
But the gifts didn’t stop there. Carter Oosterhouse of Carter’s Kids, another youth mentoring program, donated a basketball court to NewFlex, digital coupon website and app RetailMeNot gave $10,000 and Ford gifted Felix a car.
At this point, Felix was speechless.
“Honestly there really aren’t words for people like her and what she does for children,” Crump said while crying. “I would just encourage her don’t give up on this youth. She really is saving lives.”
Inside the Classroom Makeover Magic
Christiane Lemieux, the executive creative director at Wayfair, redecorated Felix’s office.
“We’re so thrilled with your program so we wanted to completely redo your office. Gorgeous shades from the shade store, new desk, new kitchen, new everything, new storage,” Lemieux said on “GMA.” “It’s all yours to help out these amazing kids. We hope you like it.”
Lemieux shared her top office decorating tips.