This weeks podcast takes a unique twist, as we speak to two professors at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana both of whom made a significant difference in the lives of children in the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood Richmond Heights.
Dr. Maria Mckenna is an Associate Professor of the Practice holding a joint appointment in the Department of Africana Studies and the Education, Schooling, & Society program.
Her husband Mark McKenna is a Law Professor and fellow for the University.
In 2007 while living in Maplewood Richmond Heights, a major budget cut in the public school system eliminated all sports programs.
The McKenna’s who now have three children, felt compelled to do something, felt compelled to make a change and create a community effort organization that would provide youth sports in an area where the recreation or school programs didn’t exist.
The result is RH Youth Sports.
It was about creating a partnership between MRH, the school district and the parks and recreation departments.
It was about forming an organization (all volunteers) that would build programs in soccer, baseball, volleyball, track and wrestling, in a mixed income community where more than 50% get free or reduced cost lunch in school.
It was about bringing in volunteers, like minded, that wanted to teach, educate mentor and create safe and trusting team environments, allowing the young athletes to appreciate their sport, competition, and teamwork.
10 years later, with many of the original board members still active, MRH Youth Sports is thriving. More sports have been added.
The community involvement has surpassed expectations
I hope you enjoy listening to the McKenna’s.
They are truly passionate about the youth in our country and about youth athletics, and about doing it right.
Perspectives in Yoth Athletics.