Better Tomorrows youth experienced an extraordinary opportunity when they traveled to the White House to participate in the Let’s Move! special event honoring the 2012 Championship teams, the LA Galaxy and LA Kings.
On March 26th, President Barack Obama hosted a sports clinic on the South Lawn of the White House for youth sport participants from across the country. The clinic is supported by MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative that promotes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, and the Kings Care Foundation, the club’s community outreach initiative that is focused on providing and enhancing educational, recreational, and health-related programs for the youth of Los Angeles. After the event, Better Tomorrows youth got to tour the White House, and briefly meet the President and members of the LA Galaxy.
The twenty-five children selected to attend Let’s Move! live at Regency Park Apartments, an affordable housing community in Coatesville, Pennsylvania owned and operated by The Michaels Organization, and participate in the Soccer for Success program organized by Better Tomorrows and J.T. Dorsey.
Soccer for Success is the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s free soccer-based afterschool program that uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles for children in under-resourced urban communities. In 2012, Dorsey, a retired pro soccer player who in his youth lived at Regency Park Apartments, offered to bring the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program to Regency’s young residents through his J.T. Dorsey Foundation. In partnership with The U.S. Soccer Foundation, his community-based non-profit organization seeks to provide necessary services to inner-city, low-income Pennsylvania communities. Currently, more than 35 children at Regency Park take advantage of these free, impactful programs.
“With the help of Crystal Lowery, Better Tomorrow’s Social Services Coordinator at Regency Park, Amy O’Grady, the head coach and coordinator of the Soccer for Success Program, and the entire staff at Regency, we have used the game of soccer to positively influence the lives of the participants and help them change their attitudes towards academic excellence, living health lifestyles, and their ability to make positive sustainable changes in their world.”
Rebecca Tone, President and CEO of Better Tomorrows, said that the partnership between Better Tomorrows and the JT Dorsey Foundation has been a great success in the Coatesville community, as it has provided these children with the unique opportunity to participate in the Let’s Move event. “The impact this program has on our youth participants is incredible and, as such, we are delighted at the possibility of exploring how we can grow this program to reach more children facing adversity in Better Tomorrows’ communities.”
Both Tone and Dorsey stress that there is a great need for these programs in the Coatesville community. An alarming 40% of residents 11-years-old and younger – children – live below the poverty line. Their need makes the services offered by the J.T. Dorsey Foundation, and Better Tomorrows so important: they give underserved individuals valuable opportunities to help them thrive.
About the J.T. Dorsey Foundation
The JT Dorsey Foundation is a non-profit, youth development organization that provides key services that are lacking, but necessary, in inner city Pennsylvania communities. The JT Dorsey Foundation’s mission is to provide wellness education, physical activity, mentoring, leadership, employment training and a safe space for at-risk children to grow up. The JTDF uses the medium of soccer to develop strong moral character, inspire academic excellence and promote community involvement for participants. The JTDF currently offers programs for youth ages 5-18 located in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York, Pennsylvania. Our program models address significant gaps in services and/or social problems negatively impacting children and families.