Colorado-based youth development organization SOS Outreach (SOS), in conjunction with the Global Sports Development Group (GSD) Playmakers program, is sending 20 of its members to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The trip, which will begin on May 12 with a visit to the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, is a part of both SOS’s and GSD’s missions of encouraging today’s youth to become active leaders in their communities.
The students making the trip to London, from SOS Colorado’s Denver, Eagle County, Summit County and Durango programs, have all been involved in SOS’s leadership programs for four to six years and range in age from 13-17 years old. The students going on the trip were nominated based on their demonstration of excellent leadership within their communities.
“One dream I plan to accomplish in my life is to travel around the world," said Jackie Luevano of Denver, one of the students going on the trip. "Meeting new friends from around the world can teach me how to be a better, stronger person in the future."
A natural match with GSD, who is covering all of the trip costs for the students, SOS is a national non-profit organization that encourages underserved youth to become involved in leadership development programs through outdoor adventure sports.
“This trip will provide the highest level of leadership training to youth within our programs," said SOS Youth Programs Director Theresa Papandrea. "Such an experience will further develop a group of young leaders within the community."
"We are delighted to work with SOS," said Steven Ungerleider of GSD. "SOS is one of the most organized youth and mentorship groups we have known in the past 15 years. I'm so encouraged by all the prep work these kids have done, including reading about gender equality, fair play, respect for coaches and drug-free sports. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them."
In addition to watching the Olympic games commence in London, the students will also be given the chance meet U.S. Olympic athletes, attend cultural events and go sight-seeing through the city. Upon returning from London, students will be asked to give presentations about what they've learned from the games.