In this episode of Brands for Good, Daryl and Leia Towe, founders of the nonprofit organization CTAB: Cross-Training Athletes into Believers, join AchieveUnite to talk personally about the mission and vision behind their non-profit, and to share about its impact on their community.

Established in 2013, CTAB empowers the youth on and off the court through lifestyle classes, player development, and community work and service to help them reach the next level and become strong lifelong leaders.

AU: Why did you decide to start CTAB?


Leia: We grew up with basketball –both of us had the amazing opportunity to play collegiately and professionally. After our basketball careers, I joined the corporate world and Daryl worked at a youth rehabilitation center, leading their basketball program. One day Daryl came home with the idea to start an organization where together we could use our best skill set – basketball – to build up and empower the next generation through basketball and life development training. And that is why we decided to start CTAB.

AU: What are some of the challenges your organization has faced?

CTAB: The skills aspect of CTAB is natural – this is the easy part. The challenging part is incorporating our Christian values into our business model without it seeming like we are forcing a faith onto people or implying the Christian faith is a requirement for a student to join our program.

 Our motive behind including these principles is to encourage kids to believe in something beyond themselves. When adversity hits, we want our students to have a strong foundation where they’re able to bounce back and respond effectively. There is a tremendous value and proven success when you are rooted in principles bigger than yourself.

AU: Tell us about your student-athletes.

CTAB: Our students come from a variety of different backgrounds. Some of the kids are from established backgrounds while others come from almost nothing. And the beautiful thing is when we’re together those differences disappear. Together, we operate as a family and we treat every student with the same level of care and respect.

We’ve noticed that no matter the background, every kid in our program shows a yearning for emotional support and desires to be held accountable – to be pushed and challenged to grow in new ways.

AU: How does CTAB extend beyond basketball?

CTAB: Beyond basketball training, we offer a Life Skills course focused on preparing each student-athlete for success in life. This course introduces students to the professional world through career coaching, leadership training, and other areas necessary for establishing a healthy and successful career.

Our favorite part of the Life Skills course is the capstone project where students learn about the elements of starting a business. The students come up with a business idea, build out the business plan, and then share their idea with our Board of Directors. The Board then votes and awards the winner a grant to launch their idea in real life. It’s been inspiring to watch CTAB students start businesses and clothing lines, and to know our students are prepared for life.

AU: What impact is CTAB having on students?


Daryl: When a student joins CTAB, they’re not just signing up for a basketball coach; they’re signing up for a father-figure, a mother-figure, a friend, and a mentor. Someone always a phone call away to guide and support them through life. Our students truly leave CTAB with a family for life. My coach growing up was this way and now 25 years later, I’m still calling him and he’s still on the other end picking up the phone to talk about fatherhood, marriage, and life. I’m so grateful for him and hope to support our students in the same way.

Leia: If you’re in the area, you know Virginia has hundreds of different basketball programs. For us, we’ve always asked the questions: What makes us different than the other programs? What makes us stand out?

And for us, our goal is not to become a business for-profit, making a lot of money. We’re different because of the impact we’re having on students.  As Daryl previously said, when you join CTAB, you gain a life-long family. When our students graduate, we’re the first place they come back to and that is special.

AU: Tell us about your coaches.


Leia: When it comes to our coaching staff, we are very particular about who we hire. In youth programming, you must be able to build relationships with both the student and the parent. It’s a requirement that our coaches have a high level of emotional intelligence where communication and relationship building is always front of mind.  

 An issue we often run into is a student only wanting to be coached by Daryl or myself, but we are only two people and CTAB runs up to 14 different teams at one time. That’s why we perform a yearly training for all of our coaches. We train each coach on our values, standards, and expectations so that when a student or parent closes their eyes, they’ll feel as if we’re right there in the gym with them.

Daryl: Along with this, we believe customer service is everything. We expect our coaches to deliver the highest level of customer service at all times. When parents and students talk about our program, we want them to speak to our brand experience –from start to finish the CTAB experience to produce feelings of trust, family, and consistency.

AU: How do you give back to your community?

CTAB: Community service is always front of mind for us. We’re always thinking about new ways to get our students involved in the community. All of our service projects have an end goal whether it’s driving awareness of local violence and poverty or teaching our kids about the value of clean living and how to spread love and create connection across generations.

 A few of our recent service projects include serving at local senior living homes, spending the day interacting with the seniors and cleaning up the surrounding property; hosting a Thanksgiving food and coat drive for the struggling areas around Alexandria, and then delivering these items directly to the families in need; And then leading a gift-wrapping event around Christmas, as an opportunity for our kids and families to connect with their community.

AU: How does a student join or become involved in your program?

CTAB: Everyone is welcome – whether you’re new to the game or experienced and ready to take your skillset to the next level. You can sign up by going to our website or giving us a call.

For those in need, we do provide financial assistance. You can apply for a scholarship here:

AU: What’s next for CTAB?

CTAB: Our biggest goal is to own a facility – a CTAB headquarters that our athletes can call home and where our programs can continue to evolve, grow and flourish.

What can people do to support this organization?

Volunteer: For those in and around Alexandria, Virginia, we’re always looking for good coaches who are willing to dedicate their time and energy to build up this next generation of student-athletes.

Donate: We’re always looking for individuals and companies to donate. We currently have two donation funds – our scholarship program and our building fund. Both are committed to making our programs accessible to all students.

You can donate directly on our website at

Spread the Word: We also ask that people spread the word about CTAB. At the moment, we operate solely through word of mouth and social media. Please follow us on social media and share our page with your friends.

Learn more about CTAB on their website,, and follow them on social media:

Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Youtube

What is AchieveUnite and Brands For Good?

AchieveUnite is a consulting and education company helping companies of all sizes generate maximum results from their channel and strategic alliance partner organizations.

As an organization built around deep expertise, we are at our core curious, active learners that constantly look for inspiration from other organizations doing great things. Our Brands for Good series came from our desire to share the impressive work we’ve seen organizations doing to build
impressive businesses while giving back good into the world.

We hope you enjoy their stories and best practice strategies as much as we do, and find some inspiration for your own personal and professional lives along the way.