Holiday Hero Youth Coach Gets Surprise of a Lifetime on 'GMA'

"GMA" – with a little help from some friends – saluted a holiday hero.

ByABC News via GMA logo
December 16, 2014, 10:38 AM

— -- 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.

  • Storage, storage, storage! It’s the key to a healthy and organized room. If you don’t want to see if put it behind doors. Open shelves are hard because you need to make the things you want to hide look great.
  • Highlight the windows. The windows are the eyes of your room. Window treatments anchor your design. In a space like the NewFlex classroom, the wall of windows is the focus. The graphic shades are the perfect starting point for the design scheme.
  • Darken the ceiling. Paint your ceiling dark so it disappears and gives the illusion of height to a room. Think of your ceiling as another wall – you can decorate it in the same way. You can extend you wallpaper all the way or tape up stripes, too. It's a great place for additional design.
  • Bring the outdoors in. Plants are an easy way to design. Ask your local nursery for easy-care varietals. You can put them all over your space for a lush, layered look.
  • Choose a pop color. A fun color can lead your design scheme. In NewFlex, we have a great neutral, fun, hip green that works for everyone. The green is the pop in an otherwise white and clean environment.