One way to encourage children in our community to focus on their health – both physically and mentally –is to create a youth basketball league.

By giving them a healthy, structured environment centered around individual and group goals, many children were able to find a sanctuary in our organization that they could not find at home or in school.

We promoted the league through advertisements on social media such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as through flyers and posters which were both hung up and passed around youth-populated areas like schools and community centers.

The league met on Sundays for 4 hours at the Joan Kroc Center, where many kids joined because they were already in the area. Although our league only met once a week, our participants eagerly and consistently showed up to participate and engage with one another. One participant told us that this league was the highlight of his week and that he looked forward to it every week.

The most accessible aspect of this program is the fact that it requires no financial commitment for the participants, making it less stressful for both the youth and their families. This organization allowed the youth to not only connect with others who they may not have crossed paths with otherwise, but to learn valuable life lessons and skills that they can apply to their everyday lives and their future careers.