Max Holloway was awarded a major award by the UFC even before entering the Octagon for his next featherweight fight against Yair Rodriguez.
On Wednesday, the Waianae native was selected by UFC President Dana White as the most recent recipient of the Forrest Griffin Community Award, an award that was only given to Dustin Poirier once again in 2020.
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Part of what comes with the prize is a donation of $ 25,000 to a cause of the winner’s choice. Holloway chose the Waianae clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii. In particular, it will go to the ‘What’s Next’ initiative.
Inglish Jones, corporate partner and head of development for the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, described the What’s Next initiative as a “cohort-based case management and mentoring program that focuses on graduation. high school on time, workforce development, job readiness, college education, self-efficacy and good citizenship, ”in KHON2’s question earlier this week .
“It means a lot because Max Holloway is such a good role model in our community. He’s such a great fighter; it proves that anything is possible through hard work and determination and no matter where you are from or where you are from, anything is possible, ”Jones told KHON2. “It means a lot, especially to our kids, that someone as successful as Max cares about each of them. It’s just nice for our kids to see someone who looks like them succeed. He’ll go with it. a legacy of not only being one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time, but with this donation supporting the What’s Next program, he’s definitely making sure teens in his hometown of Waianae will graduate with a plan for the future and that’s a pretty big one for most of our kids.
Jones had admired from a distance Holloway’s initiative to direct donations to the Hawaii Food Bank, which was part of the reason he received the Forrest Griffin Community Award. However, Jones says she didn’t expect such a big contribution from Holloway and couldn’t help but be moved when he learned that he had chosen the Waianae Clubhouse.
“I was told over the phone and I was in shock because I wasn’t expecting it at all. Of course, we love Max to death and he’s really busy with his fights. Especially with the arrival of COVID-19, he has had to deploy his efforts in other places, especially with food insecurity in the community where he comes from. It’s a big deal here in Waianae. When I got the phone call from these people the other day, we were going to receive this amount of money, it made me very emotional, ”Jones said. “I know what this can do for us as an organization. We are in the same boat as everyone else with COVID-19. We are a non-profit organization and our support comes from these community members and supporters and a lot of these people have closed their doors in the last year and a half which has put people like us like everyone else. world, in a tough spot, so $ 25,000 is just amazing. It really is. “
Holloway’s donation will provide laptops to complete homework, tickets to the mainland for college tours, and professional resources, among other services.
“What’s really great about What’s Next is that we take what the kids want to do. This is what is important. We say, “Hey, what do you want to be when you grow up?” If it’s the army, okay, great. As an organization, not for profit, we need to do everything we can to find these resources for this child to make sure that when she graduates from high school or when she graduates from high school. , they can do it, ”Jones said. “But we need the resources, so $ 25,000 is a major resource, especially for the children of Waianae. This is the first donation for the children of Waianae and the What’s Next program, so it really is a big deal.
Long before being a UFC champion, Holloway was already a role model and inspiration to the youth of Waianae. Since then, his status as a modern MMA legend has propelled his fame to new heights. But beyond his impact in the cage, it’s Holloway’s inability to forget where he’s come from that makes him such a mainstay in his community.
“What is most important for children, I think, is that they see someone who looks like them. He is a young man who looks like them, he comes from the community from which they come. It’s motivating, ”Jones said. “It’s very motivating to see a young man on television. … It gives them determination. It motivates them, like, “Oh, I want to be like Max. But not only that. When he takes his success and doesn’t just keep it to himself, Max is so humble. Sometimes you just see him riding a scooter up the street. He’s just a regular guy, but he takes his success and he wants to share it with other people.
“It’s really remarkable because it’s not every day that someone knocks on your door saying, ‘I’m doing great things, but I also want to give you some of it. “That’s what Max does. He just shares. He’s just a great guy.