Athletes for Education

Mission Statement: AFE is dedicated to “Helping our Youth Help Themselves.” We support wellness programs in the county where under-served children engage with mentors and local healthcare providers who teach healthy lifestyle choices through education and exercise. The wellness programs are designed to teach them how to achieve better health through self-motivation.

Advancing Health and Wellness: AFE is advancing wellness programs in San Diego County by encouraging children to develop healthy lifestyle choices to combat obesity, diabetes, and unhealthy eating habits. The program supports and rewards at risk 3rd – 5th graders from disadvantaged areas. The students participate in morning workouts, quarterly weigh-ins, BMI, glucose testing and healthy eating education on-site. The programs are designed to work in collaboration with local healthcare providers and other non-profits who provide much needed health/nutrition resources to under-served families in our community. The innovative approach to AFE wellness programs impact not only the children but the entire family and community. Schools are identified by 4 measures: 75% of the student population who qualify for the “Free and Reduced Lunch” program; school population with 40% or higher categorized as emergent bilinguals; below the poverty level with family income at or below 250%; minimal physical education classes provided.

Description: Athletes for Education (AFE), an umbrella 501(c)(3) organization, allows current and former professional athletes and entertainers to realize their dreams of “giving back” to their community by creating, maintaining and managing programs unique to the their outreach goals. While focusing on youth, AFE’s programs encompass positive messages, incentives and rewards as well as hands-on mentorship.

With 20 years of success, AFE understands that young people respond favorably when admired, respected mentors take an active interest in their abilities, talents and desire to make a positive change in their lives. Within AFE’s distinctive approach, mentors challenge youth to persevere and illustrate that with incremental steps they can make their dreams come true. A win-win situation is created benefiting all parties – the children, the mentors and their community. By “Helping our Youth Help Themselves”, AFE achieves their mission.

As a result of partnering youth with their role models, AFE increases their ability to make a positive impact in the children’s lives. Kids get to meet and interact with individuals with inspiring messages, lives and stories. Their programs are exciting and fun for kids, but also have functional goals including:

  • Promote health & wellness
  • Teach teamwork & discipline
  • Build self-confidence
  • Teach life skills
  • Directly connect hard work with incentives and rewards

Steve Gregory’s “SG Squad”: To become a positive role model for our youth, Steve Gregory, of the San Diego Chargers, created the “SG Squad”, under the 501(c)(3) umbrella of Athletes for Education (AFE). Steve makes it a priority to teach the importance of living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while also promoting increased community involvement, building relationships, learning important life skills, and following your dreams. Through the SG Squad, Steve vows to help children in less fortunate communities, by using his past experiences to show the children that they can succeed through hard work – just like he did.

Why Health and Fitness: Growing up, both of Steve’s parents were NYC Police Officers who stressed the importance of being an active member in the community, as well as giving back. While he had great role models, Steve never got the opportunity to meet and/or interact with professional athletes. Therefore, he welcomes the opportunity to use his success and position in the NFL to positively influence the lives of children by “…being active in their lives. Many children come from broken homes. If I can be someone to give them encouragement and put them on the right path, it creates a win-win for everyone. It’s a great feeling to help kids.”

With this in mind, Steve realized that in today’s society, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions with many opting to lead a sedentary life instead of actively playing to develop their minds and bodies. Steve and his wife, Rosanne, decided to make a difference and spring into action through the SG Squad. Both strongly believe in taking care of their bodies, eating well and making health and fitness integral parts of their everyday life. Through their community outreach efforts, they aspire to share their excitement with children.

 

Mission Support Grant Application Video 

 

Mission Support Grant Award Video

 

Contact Information: Mariana Figueroa, AFE President, 619-961-5285, info@afefoundation.org | www.afefoundation.org | Facebook

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