Building Stronger Futures
Do you remember the first day you showed up to a CrossFit gym?
You probably looked around at all the equipment, the rings, the bars, the racks, and thought, “what did I just get myself into?”
There was no way you could have imagined the impact and the change it would create in your life.
So imagine the impact I felt when I sat next to our athletes at Leadership Camp as they told their stories. They were relieved to finally be sharing their life challenges with a supportive group. Some of them cried - but they weren't tears of sadness, they were tears of belonging.
For the first time in their lives, many of these athletes finally felt that they belonged to something and that they had a place in the world.
More often than not, they’ve grown up without a sense of direction. In their neighborhoods, there are very few role models, high-achievers, and adults showing them all that they can achieve.
They have grown up being told all of the things they can’t do, instead of empowered to think of all the things that they can do.
“You can’t graduate high school.”
“You can’t go to college.”
“You can’t be successful.”
Until they join Steve’s Club, a safe place that at-risk youth can come to discover their true potential.
And something changes.
All of a sudden, many of these youth who previously thought achieving their dreams was unrealistic begin to believe in themselves.
Like Rachel from Steve’s Club Nashville climbing her way to the top of the rope at the end of a taxing Obstacle Course at Leadership Camp. This was something she had never done before, and probably couldn’t have imagined doing a short time earlier.
“Despite struggling to pull herself up to the very top, Rachel wasn’t giving up no matter what,” said Steve Liberati, co-founder of Steve’s Club National Program.
“I was amazed by the enthusiasm, determination, and strong will of the kids despite long days of tough workouts, thought-provoking workshops, and grueling team challenges.”
Liberati, who is co-founder of Steve's Club National Program and has been running a Local Club in Camden since 2007, said that although he has been “fortunate to watch the athletes at my gym in Camden grow as people and come closer together as a family, it always inspires me to see how quickly our extended family and Steve's Club community grows over the six days of Leadership Camp.”
Over the course of a week, these 22 athletes forged new friendships, gained new knowledge, and left with a new sense of purpose - taking with them leadership skills that will help them inspire other kids in their Steve's Clubs at home.