Brothers giving a big Boost to young athletes, musicians

October 23, 2022

Trevor and Calvin Shooshan saw a need in the local sports community and the teenage brothers decided to do something about it – in a big way.

The Fairport High students formed Vertical Boost in July. All Summer, they collected gently used sneakers for athletes who needed them.

The Shooshans are basketball players, so they started with sneakers, then expanded to cleats for soccer and football.

“We have friends that may not have the same opportunities that we do,” Trevor, a senior, said. “We realized we could help a lot and hopefully break down some of the barriers that keep kids from playing.”

Vertical Boost handed out more than 200 pairs of shoes in the Summer and during back to school. When Learning Links had a back-to-school supplies handout at the Pines of Perinton in August, Vertical Boost handed out more than 80 pairs of shoes.

Vertical Boost is taking a break from its shoe drive during the school year, but the brothers plan on picking it up again next Summer.

They have hooked up with PrimeTime585, a sports media platform covering youth sports that bridges the gap between sports and community, and will help with toy and coat drives during the holidays and the Winter.

Vertical Boost, which is not an official non-profit company as of yet, is now focused on fund-raising. Donations will go to sponsoring needy players for sports camps and anything else they may need to play.

The Fairport students also both play violin in their school band and plan to use funds to sponsor students in the musical program, whether it be helping buy instruments, paying band fees or sponsoring trips.

“What these kids are doing is amazing and once again proves how much this community cares about the people around them,” Town Supervisor Ciaran Hanna said. “My sons played basketball, and I know how expensive it can be and how there are kids that don’t play because of this. To see two young kids try to fix this issue is really inspiring.”

The brothers know there are a lot of students not playing in the band because they can’t afford the instrument or the fees.

“It is the same thing as sports,” Calvin said. “Break down the barriers so kids can afford to do something they want to do. You never know what they may find out about themselves.”

 “Just the exposure at those camps – whether it be sports or music – is worth way more than the money we give them,” Trevor said. “You never know when a kid might excel that would not have gone.”

They also hope to establish a Sportsmanship Award to give to all ages of kids who show sportsmanship during a tournament or league game. They plan to ask the referees who deserves it.

“If we can show a kid how commendable it is to be a good sport, and that people care and notice, maybe it will make other kids better sports,” Trevor said.

Their parents had conversations with them about how not everyone is as fortunate as they are. Then Trevor helped coach Fairport’s Unified Basketball team last Spring and realized firsthand just how challenging things can be.

“We have had good family discussions with them about how blessed they are to live here and to have the things they have,” said their dad Ryan. “When Trevor coached Unified, he really saw how things can be different for others and they decided they wanted to do something to help fix that.”

Calvin, a sophomore, designed the Vertical Boost logo and the brothers put it out on social media, t-shirts and on drop boxes.

They started out by putting a box at the Fairport basketball camp and the McQuaid camp and could not believe how quickly it filled. They also put boxes at Fairport High and the Perinton Community Center and plan for more next Summer.

 “The response from this community has been super powerful,” Trevor said. “Basketball shoes can be really expensive and some kids aren’t playing because of that. If we can help take that barrier away from them, we may be able to change someone’s life.”

Vertical Boost wanted to be at the Pines handout to make sure students had shoes for going back to school.

“It is so awesome to see a kid try on shoes, realize they are theirs for no cost, and then just run away in them,” “Calvin said. “We want to remove barriers and fix things for kids who avoid playing sports because they can’t afford good shoes.”

The brothers took donated shoes home and cleaned them. Any shoes that weren’t worth cleaning, they sold for $1 to an organization that recycles sneakers.

Anyone interested in donating to the fund-raisers or learning more about the brothers’ efforts, can go to for donation links and more information.