Darrell Armstrong

Daily Point of Light # 1303 Feb 1, 1999

In 1996, Darrell Armstrong, of the NBA's Orlando Magic, started Armstrong's Allies – Armed With Education. The Armstrong's Allies is an Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) Partnership in Education between Darrell Armstrong and the Orlando Regional Juvenile Detention Center School.

This program targets at-risk juvenile offenders and high school dropouts who have returned to dropout retrieval programs in the OCPS Alternative Education Department. The goal of this program is to help prevent these students from becoming repeat adult offenders and to help them graduate from high school. Each student must sign a contract with Armstrong Allies that states that each student will strive to uphold the standards and behaviors of Armstrong's Allies: positivity, respect, making a positive difference, sincerity, trustworthiness, responsibility, organization, non-judgemental, gratitude, staying in school, law-abiding, leadership, individuality, equality and sociable.

Members receive an Armstrong's Allies T-shirt, a personally autographed picture from Darrell, an Orlando Magic fan pack, a Burger King coupon and tickets to an Orlando Magic basketball game. Darrell meets the students outside the Magic locker room where they also get a chance to meet other Magic players. Darrell also exchanges notes and phone calls with his Allies, encouraging them to become law-abiding, successful citizens.

In its second year, the program is 98% successful in the prevention of repeat offenses.

In addition to his work with Armstrong's Allies, Darrell is involved with the Florida Hospital Foundation's Dunking For Diabetes program, which is a fund-raising activity to promote awareness and support a program which emphasizes education, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of complications in people with diabetes. Darrell serves as the spokesperson for this effort and every time he dunks in a game, a donation is made to the Foundation.

In addition, Darrell has used his celebrity status to raise awareness for several other organizations, serving as the spokesperson and making visits to places such as the Boys & Girls Club, the United Way, various Stay in School visits at area middle schools and various fund-raising golf tournaments.