Recently, Playworks Southern California Coach Janelle Matthews shared her story at Mercedes-Benz USA National Dealer Body. Attending the event was Edwin Moses, former track and field Olympian and chairman of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Edwin met Janelle and later wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about Janelle's story, calling for more positive youth mentors like her.
"Janelle Matthews grew up in foster care and went to seven elementary schools before the forth grade. She didn't know how to play playground games and became shy with other kids, refusing to play at recess because she didn't want them to find out why she never learned to play games or sports.
Janelle has since grown up; I had the pleasure of meeting her when she recently gave a moving speech to the Mercedes-Benz USA National Dealer Body about how she actively decided to not let another kid feel alone on the playground. That is why she became a Coach at Playworks; she understands the benefit that one positive mentor can have in a child's life. She epitomizes the sport for development movement which is committed to growing young individuals to be their best selves through sport and physical activity, one child at a time."