Community Development can mean different things to different people. However, in its simplest form it is “people helping people improve their life conditions by addressing common interest.” Through Coaching For Change (C4C), we believe that changes begins in our own communities, and that the members of our communities are the best ones to make the change. For the city of Brockton, we believe that there are two major issues affecting our community: education/career pathways and childhood obesity. Through partnerships, we empower our community to work together to identify the problem, come up with solutions and make it all happen!
As the summer time approaches, we think of perfect weather, BBQs and beaches. Teens and young adults are getting ready for summer break which is filled with fun and friends. For many teens, during the summer, every day is a Saturday, free of responsibility and full of unsupervised hours to spend with friends. C4C sees this as an opportunity to use fun recreational activity and sports to connect teens with positive role models and turn them into role models for their community. With youth employment on the decline and the increase in major social inequalities, C4C uses sports to employ teens while they learn about leadership.
In Brockton, MA the Education and Workforce Training Taskforce reported that youth lack the opportunities they need to develop the skills neccessary to succeed in today’s global economy. Majority of the youth population face low literacy, poverty, language barriers, low skill attainment and health issues as a challenge to their success. Research has also shown the decline in skill, information, and academic retention that occurs during the summer months. This is why Coaching For Change believes in continuing relevant skill development, social support, and academic mentoring during the summer months.
C4C uses the summer break as an opportunity to enhance teen skills development for college and/or the workplace. Through sports we create a learning environment that challenges and connects them with positive mentors in both formal and informal environments (e.g., sporting events, theater, professional development). The program uses a hands on approach to educate and get teenagers involved in the process of individual empowerment and creating community change by getting kids more active.
The summer provides us with so many opportunities to collaborate with groups and organizations who are reaching out to youth. We are excited to begin the summer by hosting our Leadership and Business Academy, our summer camps and clinics, and our field trips!
How will you use your summer to learn about and contribute to a sustainable social and economic development?
–Marquis and Liza