Jimmer Fredette’s senior season at BYU was magical.
Fredette scored 49 points against the Arizona Wildcats midway through his junior season to set a new school record and ignite Jimmermania. He infected the whole country and especially the fans in Provo.
He set 11 school records his senior year, led the nation in points per game and was named 2011 Best Male College Athlete at the ESPYs.
The whole community supported their star, and now he’s giving back to the community through the Fredette Family Foundation.
Fredette started the Fredette Family Foundation in 2012 to give back to the community through school programs and pooled resources. Blair Giles is the president and CEO of the foundation. They are advised by both a board of directors and a community board. “Jimmerosity” is the foundation’s program and their answer to the bullying problem in the Provo and Glens Falls school districts.
Jimmerosity specifically targets bullying in elementary, middle and high schools through positive peer pressure and more access to guidance counselors.
Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center gathered data and reports one in four students is bullied. Pacer also cites the CDC that said being bullied puts students at an increased risk for depression, anxiety and poor school adjustment.
Bullies put themselves at risk with their behavior, too. The CDC said bullies are at an increased risk for substance use, academic problems and violence later in life.
“Our mission is to help promote good moral character so that (kids) choose to be kind,” Giles said.
Bullying affects many people deeply, so the foundation requires many resources to accomplish its mission. A key resource for Jimmerosity is the Y-Serve program at BYU.
“We work through the Y-Serve program here at BYU to go into the schools and operate our positive peer pressure program,” Giles said.
Justin Boswell is the executive director of the Jimmerosity Y-Serve program. One of the program’s main focuses is the Heritage school, an inpatient treatment junior and high school in Provo for at-risk youth. Y-Serve worked directly with their student counsel to organize a kindness week with activities directed to eradicate bullying among students.
“It was really cool to see those kids who had such a hard time growing up and be able to help each other out,” Boswell said. “They took over the project themselves with the help of their teachers.”
Y-Serve and Jimmerosity also worked with Provo Mayor John Curtis to put on a kindness rally at Provo High School in April of this year. Thousands of students showed up to show their support in the fight against bullying.
Volunteers are essential to Jimmerosity’s success, but financial resources also play a big role. Fredette reached out to his close friend BYU senior associate athletic director Brian Santiago to help pool necessary resources.
“In any foundation, it’s always ‘how do you raise the resources to accomplish your long-term goals?'” Santiago said. “We think it’s a great cause and we love Jimmer and we love what he’s doing and we want to help.”
Fredette still has connections with current and former athletes who come out and get involved. The Provo City Mayor, Utah Attorney General, numerous local businesses and people in the community are all united in the fight against bullying. There’s always more work to be done.
Students interested in joining Jimmer in his anti-bullying campaign can go to either of the two Y-Serve offices in the Wilkinson Student Center for more details on Jimmerosity.