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SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts State Lottery and the Boston Celtics recently honored Kashawn Sanders of Springfield as a Hero Among Us.

Sanders uses the power of mentoring to help shape the future of today’s youth. Along with co-founder Tyrone Williams, Sanders established the Follow My Steps Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that provides mentoring programs, financial resources, and career and skill development to youth living in under-resourced communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Through community service and a growing number of local events, Sanders is helping empower his students to give back to their own communities. In less than three years, his organization has devoted countless mentorship hours to more than 1,000 students, inspiring each of them to see and reach their full potential.

For his commitment to uplifting youth vulnerable communities through mentorship, and in honor of Bill Russell’s legacy in the mentoring movement, Sanders was honored as a Hero Among Us on Feb. 12, when the Boston Celtics played the Memphis Grizzlies.

Since its establishment in 1997 by the Boston Celtics, the Heroes Among Us program has recognized outstanding individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. The award is presented at every Celtics home game.