While we have a lot of fun playing basketball, coaching, and organizing fun activities at Coaching For Change, our teens also know that we have high expectations for them. We expect them to give 110% in school and after school. And, through the support of our program, their families, role models and mentors, our Game Changers always put in “above average” effort.
We are committed to education. Coaching For Change, Inc. is designed to expand learning experiences beyond traditional classrooms. C4C offers an outlet that connects classroom experiences with lessons learned through sports; We believe this collaboration strengthens our students’ desires to graduate from high school and creates more options for success. To achieve success, C4C believes that we must address the drop-out crisis that is sending half the young men of color into the world without a high school degree. To do this, we need to collaborate, come together, and commit to providing all students with a meaningful education. Students need more ways to pursue knowledge and interests beyond their schools’ curricula, and Coaching For Change provides that opportunity.
We address workforce needs. In a community deeply affected by poverty, crime, drug use and social equity issues, the teenagers in our program learn and apply skills that can revitalize the the Brockton community. In 2011, the City of Brockton’s Education Working Group identified a need for a workforce development programs to improve the skill of entry-level workers and to improve the overall employment rate. With a high school drop out rate of 33%, the community’s ability to create and support vibrant economic growth is negatively impacted when we do not have access to business, education, and innovation. Without high school completion, teens lack access to pathways to help them develop skills to enter the workforce.
We approach skill development differently. With the improvement in access to technology, some businesses are increasing productivity and profits while reducing the number of employees. The paradox is that many jobs still remain vacant despite a large pool of unemployed workers. Businesses are looking for skilled workers who can also fill generalist roles. Therefore, it is becoming clear that one-size fit all system of preparation does not fit the needs of the changing employment market. We must prepare our young people to gain a diverse range of skills while also demonstrating an ability to specialize. According to Boston Indicators, “The loss of high-paid, low-skilled manufacturing jobs has widened income inequality and contributed to youth unemployment and racial/ethnic disparities in health and education.”
We make a difference. At Coaching For Change, our students learn how to think critically, perform professionally, and demonstrate competency in leadership. We address the need to graduate from high school and to continue to college. We connect the needs of the community with the contributions of our teens. We think collaboratively — not just competitively — and partner with existing organizations that are making a difference in the community.
Sports teaches us to compete. Coaching For Change gives us the skills to be competitive.