Everyday I feel the excitement of going to the free throw, it’s under two minutes and my team is down 6. I sink the the first and the second one rattles in. Coach calls a time out, looks at me and says what do you got? I look at my teammates, I tell them nothing else matters at this point. We need three stops on defense and we have to execute offensively, lastly, we can do this. On Mondays and Thursdays at Vincent High I still get to call plays and be a part of a team that wants to win. Some of our student athletes are behind and it’s the fourth quarter for some of them. Inspiration mixed with passion can move a young person to learn new skills and strategies from a mentor or presenter and then come back days later to tell you 'what you told me works, my teachers helped me, I arrived early for help' and then you know they’re getting the messages.
We are equipping student athletes to believe in self efficacy , hard work, and opening their minds to what will be if they balance their Academics, Athletics and Relationships.
Like any good thing it takes time to grow and develop. Above and Beyond the Playground (ABP) enters its 4th year at Vincent High School and each year the program has grown as a whole. Year one we started out with three volunteers, year four we have eight volunteers and six content area teachers. Year one we had 15 active student athletes, year four we have over 40. There are currently 30 student athletes who came through ABP who are now in college or in trade programs getting closer to what’s possible. Staying focused on the mission to create hope and opportunities allows us to stay connected, committed, and consumes us to do more than is required. When young people see that the adults in their lives are willing to go Above and Beyond they are willing to travel that same road.