PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia 76ers point guard Tyrese Maxey surprised several high schoolers on Friday morning at the YSI Crittenton Family Support Center in the city's Germantown section.
The organization provides resources for families in need in North and Northwest Philadelphia.
The NBA star spoke from the heart to students who kept pushing through with school during the pandemic while also being challenged with other life obstacles including gun violence and homelessness.
"I know there was times when I needed help when I was in school or my parents needed help, and it was people that were able to help them. So when you're in a position to help, you should always try to give back," Maxey said.
The 76ers point guard celebrated 10 students by giving them a $250 gift card, a trophy and a certificate of appreciation.
Families also had the chance to win raffle prizes, which included tickets to games. Many of the students shared how the sentiment went a long way, especially coming from someone of Maxey's stature.
"To me, it meant everybody sees you. Everybody sees what you're doing," said high school senior Amarra Espinosa.
Shameera Connor was another recipient. Her mother, Shekoinia Stone, got up to speak at the ceremony about how proud she is of her daughter overcoming adversity.
"Being homeless and you still trying to survive. But my baby still went to school, she got a job and it made her step up really," Stone said.
The Sixers star, who is originally from Dallas, Texas, shared how he feels at home in Philadelphia and will continue to give back.
His own mother joined him for the event and got emotional sharing how she could relate to many parents in the room, especially raising a Black son.
Maxey said he intends to continue working with YSI Crittenton Family Support Center and is looking to do another event for Christmas.
For more information on the organization, CLICK HERE.