TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Byron Pressley as the sixth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres. Pressley, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Eckerd's Friends of the Children Program and Mount Hermon Community Economic and Housing Development Corporation.
Pressley experienced the effects of a challenging childhood. After joining a mentoring program offered at his local church, he became motivated to give back to his community and seek higher education. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Pressley and his three friends started Sons of Allen, a mentoring program for middle and high school students. Pressley mentored 50 young men and they have gone on to graduate from high school and attend college. In additon to Sons of Allen, Pressley is a fulll-time mentor at Eckerd Tampa Bay's Friends of the Children where they offer services to five and six-year olds who are at-risk.
Tonight's Lightning Community Hero has gone above and beyond to serve as a role model for young men. His long term goals are for at-risk children to succeed in school by earning a minimum of a high school diploma or GED, to avoid involvement in the juvenile justice system and to avoid early parenting. Pressley is a catalyst for breaking the pattern of generational poverty along fulfilling the potential in the young men that he mentors.