Buddy Blankets & Bears, Inc.
Blade currently is a student at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont studying Game Art & Animation. Blade has been selected as a member of the Social Impact Scholar Program where he is able to continue bringing Buddy Blankets & Bears to low income and impoverished communities.
Along with his college studies, Blade is also training and participating in American Ninja Warrior. Known as the Shaman Ninja, Blade hones his skills mentally and spiritually as well as on the physical level. He goes to Ninja gyms and uses his surroundings when a gym is not available. He enjoys bringing his friends with him to challenge them to reach their best within.
Blade appreciates nature and all there is to embrace; his favorite hobby next to art is photography. He also studies religions and herbalism.
As a high school student, Blade was enrolled in Advanced Placement classes and International Baccalaureate classes. He also pursued education through the Early College High School program at Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Adirondack, earning a full year of college credits. He graduated from Ballston Spa High School in 2018.
He was the 2017-2018 President of Sponsor A Scholar, a Class of 2017 Graduate of and active member in the Rotary Youth Leadership program, a member of the Sons of the American Legion, an active member with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life since 2012, and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. Blade was awarded the YMCA Outstanding Student of the Year in May of 2017, and was named the 2018 Rotary of Ballston Spa Citizen of the Year.
Blade holds a high standard for helping within his community, the military community, and the sports community; he volunteers in various fundraising and community events. Blade has been a year-round active participant and member at the Operation Adopt A Soldier organization based in Gansevoort, NY since 2012. He has adopted several cemetery resting sites of our military veterans at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery (for families that are not in the area and cannot visit their loved ones). Blade goes to visit the soldiers on a monthly basis, washes their headstones, and dresses them with American flags, holiday wreaths, and balloons released on their birthdays. His heart believes no soldier should be left behind or forgotten.
Blade has dedicated his time during his summers volunteering at local youth soccer camps since 2012 and has been volunteering and fundraising with the Skidmore College Soccer without Borders program located in Saratoga Springs, NY since 2013. He has been a volunteer at Saratoga Wilton Soccer Club assisting with goalkeeping coaching since 2014. After sustaining a brain injury in May 2016, Blade was no longer able to play soccer himself with his club team or school team; making the best of his situation, he committed to coaching local goalkeepers from the ages of 8-18. His volunteer work has offered him the opportunity to start his own private goalkeeping training sessions to local competitive goalkeepers under his business Club 58 Goalkeeping. Over the past several years, Blade has been a Student Athlete and Community Leadership Speaker for the youth, a mentor to the youth within his community, and an academic tutor to his classmates.
Blade knows first hand what it is like to grow up in a low income family; this has been a big part of molding him into who he is today. Giving back and helping others is what his heart and soul is about.