Multiple disciplines – sports, the arts, STEM, music – have the power to change lives, particularly the lives of under-resourced youth. Because many sports are so familiar to children and families, however, they provide an especially easy draw. Once engaged, research demonstrates – over and over – that sports can positively impact cooperation, self-confidence, perseverance, and several additional non-cognitive skills; as well as physical attributes such as stamina, optimal body weight, and general health and fitness. This combination of mental/emotional/social/physical strength can be transferred to other life situations including school, work, civic engagement, and self-efficacy – all of which can ultimately contribute to personal empowerment and social impact.
Every young person deserves the chance to succeed, and empowered with the right tools, they can. Through A Ganar, we equip youth with the skills - communication, teamwork, respect, discipline, continual self-improvement, and a focus on results - to successfully return to school, gain employment, or start their own business. A Ganar makes a tremendous difference in the lives of young people, but it's not just youth that benefit from A Ganar.
While watching a live band perform at one of the many parties at the huge Austin, Texas based South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film, Technology, and Interactive Festival, a veteran sportswriter leaned over to me and said, “I’ve interviewed a lot of interesting people and done a lot of cool things, but I’ve always wanted to perform on a stage.” I agreed, being a rock star is one of those childhood dreams that has never gone away. While I may never bring down the house with my vocals, representing Partners of the Americas’ A Ganar program at SXSports was definitely way up on the “cool” list.