St. Louis, MO (April 14, 2023) — St. Louis native and Gatorade Missouri Football Player of the Year, Jeremiyah Love, awarded the Gateway Region YMCA with a $10,000 grant to help with their mission of providing safe spaces and positive environments for young adults. Sports have seen a double-digit decline over the past decade, largely due to tighter budgets in communities, but young people who participate in sports are found to be happier, healthier and better students. Gatorade Play It Forward empowers Gatorade Player of the Year recipients across the country to award local or national sports organizations with grants, so they can further Gatorade’s mission to fuel the future of sport for all athletes. After Love won the Gatorade Missouri Football Player of the Year award, he then submitted a short video to be considered for one of the 12 Spotlight Grants of $10,000.

“As with all Gatorade Player of the Year award winners, Jeremiyah has demonstrated exemplary character,” said Kara Darling, Assistant Marketing Manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. “His short video illustrated the role that the Gateway Region YMCA has had in fostering that character. Our vision is that organizations like the Y continue to positively impact the kids of the future.” “We are extremely grateful for Jeremiyah’s generosity is choosing us for this grant,” said Tim Helm, President and CEO of the Gateway Region YMCA. “The Y is committed to empowering youth like Jeremiyah to reach their fullest potential through our sports programs. Playing sports teaches kids how to communicate with each other, gives them the confidence in fostering positive relationships, and creates healthy habits. Those are skills they will continue to use all throughout their life.”

All 608 Gatorade State Player of the Year recipients are awarded a $1,000 grant to donate to the organization of their choosing. Gatorade State Players of the Year may also submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of a Spotlight Grant, which awards an additional $10,000 to the organization. To date, Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $4.2 million across more than 1,600 organizations. Registration for summer youth sports at the Y is open . Children can participate in baseball, softball, t-ball, and basketball. The Y also offers an Adaptive Sports program, which gives children and adults with disabilities the opportunities to play sports and participate in learning opportunities. You can learn more about the program here.