We are a day away from the official opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games. On the same date, Friday July 27, twenty at-risk Colorado youth from our mountain towns will experience the opportunity of a lifetime as they travel to the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
These youth were given this opportunity by the Global Sports Development (GSD) Playmakers program, an initiative that encourages youth to be the leaders by taking action to improve themselves and their communities. These youth were selected by GSD as part of another nonprofit called SOS Outreach. SOS Outreach is a youth development non-profit based in Colorado that encourages underserved youth to get involved in their communities through leadership and outdoor sports programs.
Many of the students served by SOS come from low-income families and minority backgrounds, and would not otherwise have the opportunity to travel and experience an international event like the Olympics. The trip will include meeting U.S. Olympic athletes, attending cultural events, sight-seeing and of course, watching the games. It is the hope of SOS and GSD that these experiences will inspire the youth to realize their potential and their ability to change the world.
“We are delighted to work with SOS,” said Steven Ungerleider of GSD. “SOS is one of the most organized youth and mentorship groups we have known in the past 15 years. I’m so encouraged by all the prep work these kids have done, including reading about gender equality, fair play, respect for coaches and drug-free sports. This will be an once-in-a-lifetime experience for them.”
The youth range in age from 13-17 and are from SOS Colorado’s Denver, Eagle County, Summit County and Durango programs. All the kids have been involved in SOS’s leadership programs for at least four years and have demonstrated excellent leadership skills within their communities.
“This trip will provide the highest level of leadership training to youth within our programs,” said SOS Youth Programs Director Theresa Papandrea, “Such an experience will further develop a group of young leaders within the community.” MTN Town Magazine is very excited to share the experiences of these great kids while they dispatch their experiences over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
~MTN Town Magazine
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