Your support is creating a place for children to have a safe place to play, families to come together, and coaches to teach character.
Sandra was angry. She rarely smiled. She was known for fighting. She had attended anger management classes; they didn't work. But she wanted to play soccer.
Coach April said to the director, "Don't put her on my team!" But the only days Sandra could practice were the days that Coach April's team practiced, so that was her team.
Over the course of the season, coach April and Sandra became close friends. April spoke to her whole team about the love of Christ, but this seemed to touch Sandra in particular. By the end of the season, a noticeable change had come over Sandra. You could see it in her face. She was smiling.
Sandra won an award at school for having the most improved attitude. When her teachers asked her what had happened, Sandra said "God changed me."
RYAA is about creating opportunities like this -- opportunities for caring adults to make connections with youth in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park, to teach them character, and make positive, long-lasting relationships. RYAA also gives teenagers opportunities to grow in their faith, and grow in their leadership skills. Since that first season, Sandra has become a great soccer coach in her own right, teaching younger girls the way she was taught. She has also served as a referee, and she has participated in our summer leadership development program. Sandra would like to eventually become a school teacher.