urban Initiatives wishes to thank stacy stutz for contributing this insightful blog post and the amazing photos of the work to Play ProgRam in action. urban initiatives cOnsideRs stacy one of the most valuable players on our team!
Originally intrOduced tO urbAn initiatives in tHe falL of 2007 when my daugHter first participated in the urban initiatives crOss-town classic held in Wilmette, i continue to be amazed at the impact UI has on the inner-city children, families and communitieS it serves.
Last Friday I had the privilege of spending the afternoon at beautiful Sherman Park which is across the street from Libby Elementary school. Libby’s UI team was hosting Pasteur Elementary School, one of UI’s most recently added schools, for their first official UI game. The coaches and kids came out excited to play soccer! My primary reason for joining the team on this day was to take some photographs to use on UI’s website and for UI’s annual fundraiser, the Soccer Ball.
While on the sidelines taking photos, I had the good fortune of being able to chat with one of Libby’s Assistant coaches, Jeremy. Jeremy is in high school, and played soccer in 5-8 grades in this neighborhood, however, he did not play for Urban Initiatives. I asked him how he got involved with UI and he told me that there are often not enough mentors for young kids in this neighborhood and he wanted to be there for these kids. What a wonderful story! Even without having benefited from UI himself, he saw the difference UI was making in his neighborhood and wanted to be a part of it. Each time I get a chance to work with the various UI teams, I am struck by the profound impact UI has on the kids, families and the community – – far beyond “a health, education and soccer program”!
Keep up the great work!