Last night I was invited to the US Ambassador to Guatemala’s residence for a reception with the Jack Brewer Foundation Global Ambassadors and others who work with at-risk youth using sports intervention.
I have been working alongside an organization, Champions in Action, that utilizes the nation’s love of soccer to work with at-risk youth and connect them with mentors who in turn are able to invest in the lives of the youth. In the past we have worked with the US embassy on several occasions. They support our vision of change through sports and have helped us in the past to host clinics with current and former soccer coaches and athletes.
Last night’s event was to highlight the change that can come from sports, whether it is football or futbol. Jack Brewer, a former NFL player, established a foundation that uses sports to invest in the lives of at-risk youth around the world. This week, some of his Global Ambassadors were in Guatemala and the US Embassy hosted this event to enable organizations working in the same area to network, plan collaborations, and share best practices.
While most of my work is in jeans and a T-shirt, last night’s event was a nice break; being able to dress up and having my 1st experience at the private residence of the ambassador (evidently he throws a great 4th of July party). One problem, I literally had nothing to wear. After buying a new dress and stumbling around reintroducing myself with heels, I was ready to go.
I enjoyed being able to hear the NFL athletes’ reactions about their time here, for most of them it was their first time in Guatemala. We discussed the issues facing the youth of Guatemala, the contributing factors, and ways to address the issues. Many of them are now retired football players, having turned to business ventures and they brought a business perspective. I was able to bring an on-the-ground view of the issues. Together our two perspectives enabled enlightened conversation regarding risk factors and solutions.
I was able to meet others working to utilize sports to change a nation. I walked away from the event with encouraging words of collaboration from the Mayor’s office in both Guatemala City and Villa Nueva – the 1st and 2nd largest metropolitans in Guatemala and where we work with several groups of kids. The heads of both the Guatemala Olympic Committee and Federation of Soccer were present at the event and encouraged by the work Champions in Action is doing. They also are interested in exploring options to support our work.
Champions in Action is making big steps forward. Change through Champions in Action is happening at all levels, whether it is time spent in the field with youth, in the office planning, or at unlikely, fancy events making partnerships. Throughout different avenues we are able to plant seeds of change and hope, making a better Guatemala for the future.
To contribute to the work I am doing with Champions in Action, please visit cten.org/emilymyers to make a contribution.