We've all heard the proverb, "it takes a whole village to raise a child." The statement reflects the African belief that children are a blessing from God for the whole community to enjoy, so the entire community needs to play a role in nurturing and raising them up. What a perfect maxim for Eyes Wide Open Mentoring!
This summer, we had the pleasure of seeing the community come together to make one of our youth's dreams come true. It all began when we learned that Trey and his mentor were practicing lacrosse together, and that Trey had decided he wanted to attend lacrosse camp at Gonzaga College High School this summer. We knew that it would be a long shot, but started making calls nonetheless. Imagine our surprise when Coach Casey O'Neill over at Gonzaga said yes, they had a place for our student! The only hitch was that he needed to supply all of his own gear for full-contact lacrosse.
For those of you who don't follow the sport, that's a lot of gear. We picked up the phone again. This call was to parents whose children have played lacrosse over the years. Everyone was eager to help! One couple in particular, Jean Anne and Andrew Hosker, put us in touch with a Montgomery County coach, who put us in touch with Kenny and Jennifer Shure. Jennifer had recently collected lacrosse gear for the nonprofit organization, Playing It Forward. Within days, our student was fully outfitted in all the necessary gear. Trey had a blast at LAX camp, and now has hopes for a lacrosse scholarship to get him to college.
But the story doesn't end there. Jennifer put us in touch with Leveling the Playing Field (LPF), a local nonprofit that aims to bring athletic participation to underprivileged children across the United States, and we discussed our needs with them. In August, LPF donated backpacks and sporting equipment to EWOM kids. While plans are still in the works, there's a very real possibility that kids throughout Southeast will have the opportunity to learn the sport of lacrosse, and possibly tennis, thanks to the actions of these generous individuals.
~~ In more recent news, the University of Maryland's School of Business' student consulting program, Change the World, just accepted our application for assistance in marketing our program. We have a similar type application pending with a student organization at Georgetown University for fundraising assistance as well.