Janet Carter’s path to the role of executive director at Coaching Corps is not one you might expect: she spent the first twenty years of her career working to end violence against women. But Janet insists that this work taught her three things that led directly to Coaching Corps.
First, the most important thing in a child’s life, especially when there is trauma and violence, is a caring and consistent adult. Second, when recruiting men to join the movement to end violence against women, those who stepped up often pointed to coaches who had instilled the values that led them to not simply stand by. Third, her previous experience reducing domestic violence by 50% convinced her of the truth in Margaret Mead’s words:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Coaching Corps is indeed a thoughtful, committed group of citizens working to change the world. Started as a project of Team-Up for Youth five years ago, Coaching Corps works in low-income communities to ensure that all kids reap the benefits of playing sports with a trained, caring coach. Currently Coaching Corps coordinates programs in Northern and Southern California, Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta and Orlando.
The vision of Janet and Coaching Corps is to build a movement that enables coaches to be advocates for kids. Coaching Corps trains their volunteer coaches using a youth development framework that emphasizes competing with oneself, being your best, learning new skills, and developing character. Above all, Coaching Corps is committed to ensuring that activities are fun, with an eye to building habits that will last a lifetime.
Coaching Corps’ current goal is to reach 100,000 kids served, and to then shift their focus to partnership and policy, sharing the tools they develop to increase the number of volunteer coaches nationally. More recently, Coaching Corps has expanded its recruitment efforts to include communities of faith in addition to their original efforts recruiting from colleges and universities.
Sign up here to play it forward, and join Coaching Corps in leveraging the power of play to bring out the best in kids!