Mike Hoss / EyewitnessNews

NEW ORLEANS -- In order to appreciate where you are, you have to know how far you've come.

No one understands that better than Brian Bordainick.

'I can't even really think about it because it's been such a ridiculous ride, the whole process.'

We first met Bordainick in November 2008. Then a 23-year-old Teach for America instructor at Carver High School, he had a seemingly implausible idea to raise enough money to build a track and football field for the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged school.

Thousands of phone calls and nearly $1.9 million later, they'll break ground in the coming days, and the 9th Ward Field of Dreams will become a reality.

'We really didn't have any idea what we were doing, to be perfectly honest,' Bordainick said. 'We had a really big idea and we worked really hard to surround ourselves with people who really understood the construction side and the community side.'

Architect Mark Ripple has been with the project since its inception. His work and the work of many others have been free of charge.

His payoff will come when the new Carver High School and the stadium open in the fall of 2013 to become a community showcase.

'What a great message,' he said. 'You never accept no as an answer. You keep pushing forward. It's such an inspiring thing to think that an individual can make this happen.'

'Just go for it,' Bordainick said. 'You might not see the light at the end of the tunnel, necessarily, but go for it. Fail, and fail quickly and surround yourself with people who can make it a reality.'

Groundbreaking is set for October, but that doesn't mean fundraising is complete for this project because every $100 that's raised between now and completion puts another seat in the stadium.

And Bordainick said the perfect omen is that Carver will play on an artificial surface donated by the Saints -- the same surface the team used in its 2009 run to a Super Bowl.

Construction should begin in late in the coming month or in early November. The football stands will hold 1,000 people.

But again, continued fundraising will build more bleachers.

For more information check out their website at

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