With 50 kids identified, we brought them in for a full day or sport and creation. The workshops were geared towards energizing the kids and getting them excited about their potential based on their interests in and outside of school. Personalized sneaker boxes, basketball workshop with Canadian D1 talent, and a photography workshop led by photographers who’ve worked with the likes of the NBA and Bad Boy. To cap it all off, each kid received 2 pairs of sneakers, the second to acknowledge their mothers because they are the reason we’re all here today, and excited to make change.
We truly believe that kids need to receive the respect they deserve for a conversation to start. Talk surrounding their interests and passions, their motivations, their “Why?” essentially. With mutual respect we build friendships that go beyond the event which allow opportunity for long term mentoring.
For Round 5, the most important message we came out to share was that men don’t change the world, women do. We’re all motivated by a woman or girl in our life. Whether it be a mother, sister, wife or daughter, we all wake up to be great for them. The strength of a woman holds families together and they love like no other. We wanted to remind all kids to let the women in their lives motivate them because that is what will take them the furthest as they mature.
The following morning, we started our new monthly run where we promote the interaction between the youth and mentors. We place emphasis on choice, and how decision making plays a huge role in our trajectory.
Our goal with the run was to remind each runner of the importance of choosing wisely and choosing freely. We wanted to encourage kids to voluntarily stay out of trouble, and make the most of their time. We want to remind adults that sometimes, the best choice one can make is the first one that comes to mind, which kids tend to be the best at.
We all need to express ourselves and put our personalities out on full display. We need to do the things that make us and those around us better as leaders and future leaders of our community. To do that, we must choose to do so. To let go of insecurity, fear, and doubt and do what we believe is right. Making the right choice is always the first step in actualizing our potential.
With the weekend summed up, we brought over 100 people together to empower one another and realize that we all need each other to make any sort of change. Especially in the downtown core where a lot is happening in terms of gun violence, and rivalries. If we were able to influence even one kid to make better decisions moving forward, we did our job.