National Mentoring Month
LOS ANGELES (Jan 20, 2021) – The 11 teams of The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles celebrate National Mentoring Month in January. The Alliance teams aim to inspire and equip children across the Los Angeles community with the tools they need to succeed. This mentoring month, we recognize that mentors can come from anywhere and their positive impact is immeasurable.
Alliance coaches speak to youth to inspire children to participate in sports. In accordance with state health pandemic protocol, the members of the Alliance continue to speak to local youth though virtual conferences and calls. Coaches participate in virtual panels to promote the importance of youth sports.
Alliance staff members take part in virtual panels to drive efforts to increase youth sports engagement in the Los Angeles community.
Professional athletes from the Alliance teams serve as role models for young children to aspire to. They partake in public engagements to drive youth sport participation interest. Professional athletes across the Alliance teams participate in virtual panels to propel student engagement and participation in sports. Prior to the pandemic, professional athletes spoke to children through community programs and distributed signed equipment.
The teams provide children in underserved communities with backpacks and school supplies. School supplies distributions provide middle school and high school students access to learning necessities during the pandemic. Equipment distributions organized by the teams promote play despite limited organized sport opportunities during the pandemic.
Professional teams host youth sports clinics led by professional athletes and coaches to teach children new skills and to develop their technique. Over 200 children participated in a baseball clinic to learn basics of hitting in batting cages.
To increase student engagement in sports, the Alliance and the Play Equity Fund facilitated the Student Empowerment Program. The program uses sports as an entryway to leadership and advocacy for student athletes. The semester-long program develops changemakers who will build community power and affect systems.
The program’s curriculum was co-created by the Brotherhood Crusade and the Community Coalition. Curriculum objectives include training participants in organizing and identifying social issues to address, facilitating students’ understanding of community conditions and the systems that perpetuate inequality, fostering an advocate mindset and the knowledge and confidence to engage with policymakers, and gaining inspiration from fellow student athletes and professional athletes.
The Alliance is invested in the Los Angeles community and strives to provide mentoring opportunities for all youth.
The Play Equity Fund is the only nonprofit worldwide dedicated to Play Equity as a social justice issue. Its mission is to bring the transformative power of sport and structured play to youth who have been left behind by the current system.
In neighborhoods with high poverty rates, opportunities to play – a globally recognized fundamental human right of childhood – oftentimes do not exist, particularly for kids of color.
Barriers to access include the elimination or reduction of enrichment of programs, budget challenges for afterschool programs including sports, safe passage to playgrounds, transportation, lack of trained and well-paid coaches and the rising costs of athletics and intramural programs. These factors severely limit access and opportunities for kids of color to build a pathway to lifelong well-being.