When I lived in Boston, I volunteered with an organization called Youth Enrichment Services, or YES. The organization exposes inner city youth to leadership programs and outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, running and much more. I learned so much from the youth YES served and witnessed firsthand how a day on the slopes can build confidence and resolve.
I am reminded of one youth named Ben (7). It was his first day on the slopes and he was quite nervous. He even cried! So I told him a secret - it was my second week on the slopes and I was nervous when I started, too. His entire face beamed when I told him "Well, if I can do it, then you can do it, too!" By the end of the day, Ben was skiing and showing me all that he had learned. He could not wait to show me how to stop and how he was no longer afraid to fall. His confidence and belief in himself was evident!
YES does more than expose youth to outdoor sports. It helps youth believe in themselves and excel in areas they may not have thought possible. I remain connected with some of the youth I served while at YES and I am happy to report that some who believed college was just a dream, not only graduated from top colleges, but also are leaders in their respective careers! Some went on to work at renowned ski resorts and others joined YES as volunteers because they wanted to give back. That is what YES is about!
In 2015, I missed volunteering with YES so much that I tried to commute from New York to Boston during the Operation Snowsports season. It proved to be too much so I tried to find other ways to support the organization and its important work. So now I am committed to running the Boston Marathon as a fundraiser for YES. I endeavor to invest the time, energy and tears required to train for the Boston Marathon. I know personally that YES is an organization that not only helps the youth in the greater Boston area succeed and become effective and caring leaders, but also YES helped me in more ways than I can count.
Please join me in supporting YES and my quest to run the Boston Marathon on its behalf! I know it will be a tough 26.2 miles that is filled with hills and hills and more hills! The winter training will not be easy, but with your support, I know I can keep moving forward to help the youth YES serves.
A gift of $100 pays for one child to experience skiing and snowboarding, including equipment, instruction and transportation.
A gift of $250 pays for two teens to receive college counseling, including help with essay writing, financial aid, and more.
A gift of $500 pays for five youth to experience rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, or fishing with YES for one day.
A gift of $1,000 pays for one teen to be in the two-week intensive summer Leadership Corps program and learn in the outdoors.
A gift of $2,500 pays for two teens to be in the weekly Leadership Corps program and on the slopes for an entire school year.
Thank you and God bless!
(Some photos above were taken when I volunteered with YES!).
About Youth Enrichment Services, Inc.:
YES is a non-profit organization that has been serving youth since 1968 with outdoor, sports-based, and leadership development programs. YES serves over 1,600 youth annually through its three signature programs: Operation SnowSports, Outdoor Adventure, and the YES Academy.
The mission of Youth Enrichment Services (YES) is to inspire and challenge youth with physical and mental activities that foster life-long respect for self, others, and the environment. YES accomplishes this through three tiers of programming which give youth new experiences, help youth gain confidence and leadership skills. YES aims to serve Boston-area youth, with a focus on the underserved neighborhoods of Mattapan, Roxbury and Dorchester. To learn more about YES, visit www.yeskids.org.
Team YES is running the 2019 Boston Marathon to raise funds to support YES's mission. YES's 2018 Boston Marathon team raised over $40,000 with a team of four runners. We look forward to raising even more money for Boston youth with four team members running for Team YES in 2019. All funds raised will be used to fund and expand after-school and outdoor programs for the Boston youth who need it most.