49ers Announce Winners of the "Follow Your Bliss" Award Grants

49ers EDU presented by Chevron today announced the five Bay Area educators and administrators chosen as winners of the fourth-annual Dr. Harry Edwards "Follow Your Bliss" Award program. All award winners have gone above and beyond in providing for their students during the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning. Thanks to the 49ers Foundation, Extra Yard for Teachers, and Micron Technology, a total of $25,000 will be given out to the winners for use in their schools and classrooms.

A virtual award ceremony was held last week for the award winners and their families/colleagues. Dr. Harry Edwards, 49ers Chairman Dr. John York, and 49ers EDU Director Jesse Lovejoy were all in attendance and remarked on what it means to celebrate educators and administrators who have inspired Bay Area youth with purpose, passion, dedication, and love. Please see below for b-roll from the event and the full award winners list. For more information about each award winner, please click here.

Table inside Article
Category Winner Position School
K-5th Grade Binh Dao 3rd & 4th Grade Teacher Longwood Elementary
6th-8th Grade Cory Jong 6th Grade Teacher Urban Promise Academy
Community Educator Brittney-Lynn Filimoehala-Egan Unit Director Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
Administration Emmanuel Stewart Principal Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy Elementary School

"As a teacher who began my career in 1965 – over half a century ago – I am acutely aware of the ongoing challenges to education that have been brought on by the pandemic. Teachers, administrators, and community education professionals have emerged as frontline contributors and leaders in sustaining the value and integrity of the education system," said Dr. Harry Edwards. "All educators deserve recognition and support, so in that spirit, I am personally excited and honored to engage with these five individuals and support their ongoing careers as educators." 

In addition to the $5,000 stipend, each award winner will receive mentorship from Dr. Edwards, who is been a nationally renowned sociologist, civil rights activist, educator, author, and 49ers team consultant. He previously served as a Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley from 1970 – 2000.

"Educators were forced to learn-on-the-fly throughout all of 2020 with the immediate adoption of Zoom classrooms, remote test-taking, and distance learning," said 49ers EDU Director Jesse Lovejoy. "These five educators have displayed immense passion and dedication to bettering Bay Area youth through education. We can't wait to welcome them to Levi's® Stadium for a true celebration when the time is right."

The 2022 "Follow Your Bliss" categories and criteria will be announced in Fall 2021. For updates, please visit 49ers.com/bliss


About 49ers EDU

49ers EDU leverages the game of football and Levi's Stadium as platforms to expose students at an early age to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) concepts and careers, creating excitement and engagement around learning. By providing standard-aligned physical and digital enrichment materials to those furthest from resource and opportunity, 49ers EDU can be a catalyst in creating interest and developing STEAM literacy. Committed to serving students, teachers, and families in the Bay Area, 49ers EDU empowers our youth by building 21st Century Skills and foundational STEAM knowledge to better prepare them as future leaders of their communities. Learn more at 49ers.com/edu.

About the 49ers Foundation

For the past 30 years, the 49ers Foundation has harnessed football to educate and empower Bay Area youth through collective and innovative community-focused strategies. From award-winning STEAM education and nationally recognized youth football programs to impactful community partnerships with leading nonprofits, the 49ers Foundation is tirelessly dedicated to inspiring the confidence and collaboration youth need to tackle what is possible. Since 1991, the 49ers Foundation has invested more than $50 million back into historically underserved Bay Area communities in support of its commitment to remain faithful to the next generation. Learn more at 49ers.com/foundation.