Inspiring Children Foundation
The Inspiring Children Foundation, in partnership with Jewel Never Broken, is providing children the ultimate environment to become their best in all areas of life, including academics, athletics, interpersonal skills, leadership, and character development. Over $18 MILLION IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS have been earned by youth in the Foundation's Leadership Program.
Introduction to Inspiring Children Foundation
In their Own words
Thoughts on Mindfulness
Impact of the Foundation
Today we are kicking off a series of interviews spotlighting an amazing organization called the Inspiring Children Foundation. You are going to hear from a group of inspiring individuals, many of whom are just teenagers. But let me be the first to tell you that these "kids" have wisdom beyond their years.
The Foundation was started by Ryan Wolfington and renowned Las Vegas tennis coach Marty Hennessy, and is designed to provide children, many of whom come from difficult and disadvantaged life situations, the tools necessary to become their very best in academics, athletics, interpersonal skills, and leadership positions. They are becoming professionals in life. It is done using a variety of tools including mentoring, project-driven learning, entrepreneurship, a focus on education and athletics, and a special emphasis on mindfulness and self-awareness.
It started about 16 years ago, with the simple goal of helping one child make the right life choice of staying in school and staying out of trouble. There was no Foundation or even a vision of what was to come. It was simply Marty and Ryan showing interest in a child who was taking tennis lessons, a young teenager named Frideric, who they saw as extremely vulnerable to peer pressure and potentially making some poor life choices.
Since those early days, the impact from the Foundation is nothing short of amazing.
Thousands of kids have been served by the Foundation. There is a select group of children chosen for the what's called the Leadership Program. Ninety-Five percent of them have earned academic and athletic scholarships to colleges such as: Stanford, Princeton, Oxford, Yale, Georgetown University, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School of Business, Vanderbilt, United States Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Villanova, Williams, Vassar and many others.
The Foundation is funded through donation, but I know first hand from being there that it thrives on volunteering and sweat equity, if you will, on the part of parents, the children, and community supporters. They operate a very tight budget and the return on donation is high.
From the $3 million donated to the foundation over the years, over $18 MILLION IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS have been earned by the youth.
What you are going to pick up immediately is the clarity with which these kids see life. They have learned to trust in themselves, and have become leaders among their friends, families, and communities.
It makes me think about a growing concern that the education system in this country is broken, and kids are not well prepared for the life ahead of them, much less able to handle the moral and ethical challenges they will confront in high school and college. But after several visits and spending time with these kids, my hope is renewed that the blueprint drawn up by the Foundation can set a new standard for educating and preparing youth to be whole humans, capable of deep and meaningful relationships, living with mindful awareness, in the pursuit of wisdom. And to that end, the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology is in the process of documenting the foundation's success and creating a curriculum that can scale even further. Currently the Foundation's program is being duplicated by 22 organizations around the world.
You may have noticed that the music behind the opening montage and the one you will hear as we head out is by the singer-songwriter Jewel, who took notice of the Foundation and how they align with the principles she personally developed to navigate a very challenging early life of her own. She started a non-profit organization called Jewel Never Broken to teach these lessons and has now partnered with Inspiring Children to provide online resources for mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and wellness, through her site, JewelNeverBroken.com.
So I'll let some of the kids take us out on this episode with their thoughts on the Foundation and how it has affected their lives. Then tune in for my conversation with co-founder Ryan Wolfington, whose fascinating and insightful story of personal transformation is where this all got started. Thanks for joining me on Deep Sit and I hope you enjoy my interview series spotlighting the Inspiring Children Foundation.
Thanks for listening,
© 2017 Deep Sit Podcast