Athlete Ambassador Program

As we reflect back on the experiences that shaped us when we were still in elementary school, we often remember a special adult in our lives. It might have been a coach, piano teacher, relative, or some other caring adult that left a tremendous mark on our character.

Unfortunately, many youth in under-served Chicago neighborhoods do not have the adult role models that they need to thrive. “We are lacking in formally educated, prosperous role models within the families of our students,” said Kelly Wingate, Armour Elementary School Counselor.

Since 2011, 50 Olympians, Paralympians, elite and college athletes have annually served as role models for over 1,200 at-risk students (10 to 14 years) at 30 Chicago Public Schools. Athlete Ambassadors teach children about S.M.A.R.T goal-setting and success by instilling in them values and skills such as grit, so that they can persevere and achieve their long-term goals. Ambassadors take the materials WSC has prepared and put them together in their own unique way. The ABCs the Athlete Ambassadors teach are: Athletics, Behavior and Course performance.

Call for 2016/17 Athlete Ambassadors

A growing body of research shows that at-risk students who create plans for the future, including specific goals and strategies to overcome setbacks, improve their academic achievements, and are less likely to drop out of school. Next year will mark the 5th anniversary since Steve Alley, Tony Brooks, Carol Brown, Larry Langowski, Christine Magnuson, Gary Maldonado, Gary Morgan, Adam Pierson, Shannon Pohl, just to name a few Ambassadors, have been changing young Chicago lives through cognitive, non-cognitive and physical exercises.

“I hope you are pleased to know that you have made significant difference in our students’ lives,” said teacher Luz Cuadrado from Jungman Elementary at the end of the 2014/15 school year.

Are you passionate about sports and would like to use the power of your voice and hard work to inspire young Chicagoans? Email Simona at or call 312-861-4937. We look forward to hearing from you.


Agassiz Elementary School

Armour Elementary School

Ashburn Elementary School

Bell Elementary School

Belmont- Cragin Elementary School

Canty Elementary School

Gary Elementary School

Jungman Elementary School

Faraday Elementary School

Hamilton Elementary School

Hefferan Elementary School

Hitch Elementary School

Moos Elementary School

Palmer Elementary School

Perez Elementary School

Reinberg Elementary School

Suder Elementary School

Talcott Elementary School

Tonti Elementary School


DePaul University

Roosevelt University

University of Chicago

Chicago Rowing Foundation

West Town Bikes


Athlete Ambassador Program Logo

Athlete Ambassadors in Action


Athlete Ambassador Brochure


Athlete Ambassadors Testimonials

“Ambassadors Christine and Tab taught me to never give up.”
~ 8th grader Graciela, Armour Elementary School
“One of the best school visits yet. Although being a part of WSC since 2008, this is my third year actively engaging the youth within the school and conveying WSC and Olympic values. Faraday Elementary set expectations for the students and the teachers involvement helped keep the students attention.”
~ Ambassador Adam Pierson, 2008 Olympic Trials, Pole Vault
“I believe that Ambassador Brian, and your program, accomplished what it set out to do. Our students learned about the process of goal setting, setting both short, and long term objectives to reach their goals, and what it means to overcome adversity.”
~ Tom Lou, PE Teacher at Ashburn Elementary School
“It was really fun, educational and it got kids rowing and exercising. Because most of the time all the field trips I go to, my class just walks around and observe. You guys should do this every year for the 8th graders.” ~ 8th grader Thao, Hitch Elementary
“Thank you for giving us one more opportunity to involve students in to the sports, and games. Talking to professional athletes and Olympic players was a really big moment for all of them.”
~ Piotr Batorowicz, PE Teacher at Canty Elementary School
“I am able to translate the values of lessons learned through sports to youth and non athletes. A field trip to Chicago Rowing Foundation went better overall than I had expected. I would love to do it again with another group next year.”
~ Ambassador Carol Brown, 1976 Bronze Montreal Olympic Medalist in Rowing
“Thank you so much for providing our Jungman students with this wonderful opportunity to visit the University of Chicago, and giving them a tour of the beautiful campus. I hope you will be pleased to know that you have made a significant difference in our students’ lives.”
~ Luz Cuadrado, Jungman Elementary School Teacher
“We had another wonderful experience working with the Athlete Ambassador Program. The students were motivated to succeed in their chosen endeavors and to develop goals-based measurable increments.”
~ Kelly Wingate, School Counselor at Armour Elementary School
“Thank you for the bike trip.”
~ 7th grader Yiormani, Moos Elementary School
“We really enjoyed the visits. Thank you for all your work! Shannon was wonderful! The kids really enjoy learning from an expert, as well as being engaged. You and Shannon are very nice and easy to work with!”
~ Mark Alvarado, PE Teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary School
“Thank you. I’m so impressed with your speedy organization.”
~ Ambassador Shannon Pohl, Former USA #1 in Women’s Badminton Singles


Meet Athlete Ambassadors