Brian BordainickCarver High School – 2009 Eddie Robinson Award Winner
The inaugural winner of the Eddie Robinson Award was Brian Bordainick, the tireless athletic director for Carver High School, who is being recognized for his contributions to Carver and our community.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Bordainick was simply looking for a job that would make a difference. He joined “Teach For America,” an organization that aims to end educational inequity by enlisting the country’s most promising future leaders in the effort. Bordainick clearly fills that bill.
The 22-year old native New Yorker accepted a position to teach at Carver High School in New Orleans. Located in the dangerous and deprived Ninth Ward adjacent to the Desire Street Project, Carver High is a public school which was devastated during Hurricane Katrina, taking on 10 feet of water. The school re-opened two years later and Bordainick came on board as a geography teacher.
Within a short period of time, he was asked to coach girls’ basketball, a sport he had never coached. Within another month, he was asked to take over as athletic director.
Seeking a way to provide hope in a difficult atmosphere for underprivileged youth with a narrow path to getting out of poverty and enjoying the American Dream, the young man from “Teach For America” taught many young people at Carver High School a valuable lesson – Yes, you can!
Among his many daunting tasks as athletic director, Bordainick was asked to resurrect the once proud Carver Ram football program that has produced the likes of Marshall Faulk. Thirty students emerged from seven classroom trailers and courageously took the field as a football team in an abandoned lot in the shadow of their devastated school. This inspired Bordainick to dream and to attempt to make a dream a reality. He started a process to build a “Field of Dreams” at Carver High School.
Bordainick discovered that he had to raise $1.85 million to build a state-of-the-art football field and track to be utilized by Carver as well as all public schools and community members free of charge. Through his “yes, you can” attitude and diligence, he has raised over $1 million toward the goal, obtaining major contributions from Nike, The New Orleans Saints and NFL, New Orleans City Council member Arnie Fielkow, the Kiwanis Club of Pontchartrain, the Recovery School District, E.C. Durr and the law firm of Eskew, Dumez, Ripple, Shrenk and Peterson. He has appeared on The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and CNN. He has had features written on the project by newspapers and web sites throughout the country, including in New Orleans at www.neworleans.com and in the Times-Picayune newspaper.