SBYD – Helping America’s Most Vulnerable Children

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It is the best and worst of times for youth sports. There never has been more organized sports opportunities in America for children from 6 – 18, but it often comes with a price, from hundreds to thousands of dollars a year. This means children from low income families participate in sports considerably less than children from well off families and as a result have a higher incidence of obesity and being over weight.

Countering this inequity and health problem in America are an increasing number of nonprofit programs located in some of the most underserved communities around the country providing organized sports that provide healthy exercise, fitness and teamwork. However, the sports is the means for these programs to provide academic support that leads to high school graduation and college for many of the underserved children in their program. These programs also provide critical social and emotional support where the fun is in competing and working with your teammates and supportive coaches. They provide a much different environment than AAU basketball and travel teams of all sports.

So what is SBYD? It stands for Sports-Based Youth Development. A field that has been evolving for over 20 years with hundreds of programs springing up across the country. Combined these community programs provide dozens of different sports and fitness activities to hundreds of thousands of children of all ages. Some also provide programs that involve children from both families that can pay with those who cannot providing a positive experience for both. However there are millions more that could benefit from these nonprofit programs if they had access to more funding.

This session will feature up to 4 CEOs/Founders of the leading nonprofits providing some of the most innovative sports-based youth development programs in America at underserved locations in Baltimore, DC, Chicago, LA and Oakland. They will discuss the challenges and measurable success they have had in helping children become good students and confident young people. They will talk about the techniques used in their programs to help the children overcome the challenges they face in their underserved communities.

These nonprofit programs are on the frontlines countering the negative conditions children face every day while living in some of the poorest neighborhoods in America. Come hear how they are doing it!



Confirmed Panelists

Youth Sports Collaborative Network is a member association for nonprofits providing SBYD programs. No panelists have been confirmed but we have relationship with a wide variety of organizations and in March convened a panel of SBYD nonprofit founders and CEOs from America SCORES NYC, Backyard Sports Cares, Girls on the Run Montgomery County, Harlem Lacrosse, and Soccer in the Streets for the US Soccer Foundation’s Urban Soccer Symposium. Panel discussed how they were able to grow their nonprofit from a startup or turning it around after the 2009 recession.



Unconfirmed Panelists

Simon Cataldo, Co-Founder, Harlem Lacrosse In 2006 as Teach for America Special Education teacher at Frederick Douglas Academy in Harlem, Simon struggled in his first year and in introduced lacrosse as a way to engage his most academically and behaviorally challenged students. He started with 11 students and 10 sticks and today in addition to NYC they have Harlem Lacrosse locations in Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles through a merger with City Lacrosse, and Philadelphia. Harlem Lacrosse now serves over 850 students from 19 programs in five cities. Each HL school site has HL coach, mentor to support their students. 96% of HL students qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch.

Bethany Henderson, CEO, DC SCORES & President, America SCORES : Bethany, a nationally recognized social entrepreneur; Echoing Green Fellow; and recent White House Fellow, became DC SCORES Executive Director in 2014. Bethany’s career has spanned the social, for-profit, and government sectors. While in the White House, Bethany coordinated the 2013 Youth Jobs+ initiative and participated in developing My Brother’s Keeper, a public-private partnership focused on helping boys and young men of color get and stay on track cradle to career. DC SCORES provides soccer, poetry performance and service learning projects for over 3000 students in 69 schools and recreation center-based sites. DC SCORES is one of 12 community SCORES in the U.S. and Canada.


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