Welcome back to school. We hope you had a relaxing summer and are ready to start the semester off right. World Sport Chicago Athlete Ambassadors sure are. We are so grateful for all the Olympic, Paralympic, elite and college athletes that have joined us for the Program Orientation Session last night, all eager to helpÂ at-risk Chicago youth have a brighter future. For the 5th consecutiveÂ year, WSC volunteers are returning to the CPS schools to teach students important life skills and setting “medal worthy” goals.Â And what better time for Chicago studentsÂ to meet such admirable role models than in childhood, a season of relationships that gradually mold our character?Â With nearly 1,500 layoffs districtwide, and more cuts to the CPS budget looming on the horizon, now, more than ever, there is a profoundÂ need for positive roleÂ models forÂ Chicago students, structured activities, and opportunities beyond their environment.
At the orientation, Ambassador Adam Pierson reflected back on his seven years of service with WSC. â€śThis program is enriching for me and you as well,â€ťÂ Pierson inspired the new Ambassadors who have been gearing up to lead by example through their own stories.Â Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Ambassador Pierson who competed in pole vaulting in the â€™08 Olympic Trials, said that sport and his childhood town â€śadded an abundance amount of perspective: diversity, adversity, and the tools to make the situation better.â€ť
Last week, Ambassador Tony Brooks, 72â€™ and â€™76 Olympian in rowing, kicked-off our 2015/16 season at Perez Elementary School. Ambassador Brooks reminded the students of an important lesson from Alice in Wonderland that explains the essence of goal-setting and reflects the purpose of our work.
â€śAlice: ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
The Cheshire Cat: ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.’
Alice: ‘I don’t much care where.’
The Cheshire Cat: ‘Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”
We look forward to another year of “making the situation better” – by utilizing our own stories of dedication and perseverance to increase the power of sport, so that sport can transform Chicago youth.