LA84, Jordan Clarkson And Cobi Jones To Support Local Youth Development Programs On Nationally-Televised NBC Show
For Jordan Clarkson, the opportunity to get on the court and mentor LA’s youth is a slam dunk. For Cobi Jones, helping kids and doing good is a golden goal. Mix that together and what do you have? A stirring and inspiring half hour of network television.
The LA84 Foundation is featured alongside Los Angeles Lakers guard Clarkson and former Los Angeles Galaxy and US Men’s national team star Cobi Jones on an episode of NBC’s “Give”. The episode is scheduled to air on NBC on Saturday, October 21, but also check local listings. “Give” is an Emmy Award-winning philanthropic reality show that connects celebrity ambassadors with nonprofits making a difference in order to create change in their communities and the world.
This latest episode showcases Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and Youth Speak! Collective (YSC), two Southern California-based nonprofits focused on youth development through their sporting programs. Clarkson goes on-site to learn about the basketball program at HOLA, while Jones returns to his home region in the San Fernando Valley to discover how YSC uses soccer to change lives. The two athletes also consult with LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril and a pair of LA84 Foundation SAMbassadors – i.e. Student Athletes in Motion – on the best way to positively impact and enable HOLA and YSC to continue their work in the communities of Los Angeles. The show is known for producing lots of smiles and even more surprises, and this episode has plenty of both.
The LA84 Foundation is committed to youth development, using sports as a tool in achieving positive social-emotional, health, and educational outcomes. There is a play equity gap in youth sports, with the foundation’s 2016 Youth Sports Survey showing that African American and Latino children are most likely to be inactive and girls are less likely than boys to play a sport. LA84 Foundation grantee organizations such as the Heart of Los Angeles and Youth Speak! Collective share LA84’s mission to use sports as a foundation for life for youth in underserved and under-resourced communities. The LA84 Foundation uses the hashtags #PlayForAll and #PlayEquity to characterize the organization’s work.
LA84 Foundation President & CEO Renata Simril said: “#PlayForAll access to sport is absolutely vital. The LA84 Foundation is proud to team with Jordan, Cobi, HOLA and YSC to help these kids learn the life skills to apply to themselves, their families and their communities.”
The LA84 Foundation’s 2016 Youth Sports Survey also showed that soccer and basketball had the first and third-highest participation rates, respectively, among youth ages 6-17 in Los Angeles County. The foundation has been involved in building or refurbishing more than 100 sports and multi-purpose facilities since its inception. These investment projects include a $3.5 million EXPO Center renovation that built brand-new basketball courts and a multi-purpose sports field, as well as putting $1 million into building four new, synthetic soccer fields at the Ferraro Fields soccer complex, LA’s largest soccer facility, that boosted the number of youth that could use the fields year-round from 7,500 to 171,000.
The Heart of Los Angeles offers free youth basketball clinics, ages 7-17, throughout the year. More than 98 percent of families participating in HOLA’s athletics program qualify for free or reduced lunch, and participants receive not only basketball instruction, but information on living and eating healthy.
Said HOLA Executive Director Tony Brown, who appears in the Give episode: “One of the great benefits of sport is that you have coaches and mentors. It’s really joyous for me to see kids come through sport, and have their lives and their future opened up a great deal more than it was before they joined.”
Youth Speak! Collective’s Club Futbolito program offers a futsal-style soccer program that targets at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 16 in the northeast San Fernando Valley. Now in its sixth year, the program is free-of-cost for participants and is creating access for youth to develop in a positive social environment.
Said Youth Speak! Collective Executive Director Pablo Garcia-Hernandez, also featured in the Give episode: “At Youth Speak! Collective, our purpose is to empower the young people with the skills necessary to pursue higher education and strengthen their communities. Getting such a generous gift. It’s something that they are [youth] going to remember for the rest of their lives.”