Project sWish Chicago Founder McKinley Nelson is Today’s Honoree

McKinley K. Nelson is a Chicago native who attended Whitney Young Magnet High School and is currently a senior pursuing a B.A. degree in Sports Management and International Business at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

McKinley embodies the spirit of philanthropy. At an early age McKinley expressed and demonstrated the importance of giving and paying it forward. He donated his time serving at soup kitchens, turkey drives, and Christmas Toy give-aways; assumed the role of a basketball camp counselor and team lead at various professional players camps and held the position of intern in the Community Fund Department for the Cincinnati Reds to name a few.

His passion and commitment as a change agent in communities in need, to the populations who can benefit the most, in the city that he loves, is exemplified through his actions.

McKinley was inspired to create Project sWish Chicago after the untimely death of close friends whom he met through his love of basketball as a result of Chicago’s gun violence. He turned his pain into passion to afford opportunities to others. Project sWish Chicago is a foundation that utilizes sports and entertainment as the driving forces to unite people from diverse communities and cultures while providing a safe and supportive environment for youth and young adults.

In late July 2018, McKinley had an epiphany to do something to positively impact the community. On August 18, 2018, Project sWish Chicago was born. McKinley brought his vision to fruition and hosted a charity basketball game and school supply drive. The Inaugural Project sWish Back to School Charity Event featured NBA and Overseas players that served as coaches, notable basketball players, and local entertainers in addition to the distribution of sneakers, give-aways and 1300 book-bags filled with school supplies.

The Inaugural event that impacted many has not only created a platform for the sport of basketball and entertainment, but proved the urgency for additional on-going programs in the community.

McKinley’s commitment to service and paying it forward is evident through the sWish League, College Tour and other Project sWish initiatives that will be showcased in the near future. Project sWish is dedicated to the continuity of inclusion and engagement through transformative work. The goal is to give many hope and break the cycles that plague many families.

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