Lakers Youth Foundation YOU Grant
Congratulations to Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) Los Angeles on winning the Lakers Youth Foundation March YOU Grant!
2018-19 YOU Grant Winners
March: KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) Los Angeles
To foster confidence, self-esteem and community inclusion for youth with disabilities; strengthen communities through education of volunteers; and provide families with respite and a supportive network by offering free, non-competitive one-to-one programs of exercise, fitness and fun, lead by volunteer coaches.
Children and adolescents with physical and cognitive disabilities have a higher prevalence of being overweight compared to their non-disabled peers which can lead to a greater number of obesity-related secondary conditions and can impose significant personal and economic hardship on the child and family. KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) Los Angeles provides exercise and recreational programs for one of the hardest to serve populations of cognitively and physically disabled children and young adults in our community at no cost to their care givers. Our unique basketball, swim and general sports programming pairs athletes one-to-one with community volunteers to build socialization and physical skills and confidence in a completely free, non-competitive, athletic focused environment. The benefits of KEEN are three-fold: we provide our athletes with exercise and physical activity, parents or caregivers receive much needed respite, and our volunteers learn first hand about the challenges people with disabilities face, as well as their unique abilities, and are posed to take on leadership roles in our community.
January: Chasing 7 Dreams
Our Mission is to inspire and make a difference through spreading love, growth and new development in the lives of all that we serve. We are devoted to supporting the guiding principles of accountability, empowerment and inspiration at the forefront of implementing change: The purpose of Chasing 7 Dreams is to teach the art of connecting through simplicity.
Chasing 7 Dreams belief is that all children benefit from structure and engagement with their peer. This can be particularly important for children with Autism. By participating in camp designed specifically for children with Autism they will have an opportunity to learn adaptability, and develop social skills, and improve social behaviors. Chasing 7 Dreams primary goal for participants of E-KAMP is to work on those skills that are not primarily worked on during the school year: social skills, fine and gross motor skills, flexibility, and self-advocacy. Chasing 7 Dreams is passionate for participants to become their own “agent of change”. Participants will work on these skills during the summer months while at the same time engaging in fun recreation, age-appropriate activities.
November: Villa Esperanza Services
Providing Love, Care, and Hope for Individuals with Disabilities and their Families Since 1961.
Villa’s Youth Program provides individualized curriculum and speech, occupational, and behavioral therapies for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A Lakers YOU grant will help support Sports Day and give Villa’s children a chance to experience the joy of youth sports in an environment of camaraderie and acceptance while practicing their social skills with their Villa teammates. On Sports Day, Villa staff, parents, and volunteers will cheer on our children while they complete fun motor and movement activities including soccer kicks, basketball shots, walks/relays, softball throws, and a motivating cheer pep rally.
Visit Lakers.com/community for more information on how the Lakers serve their community and assist nonprofit organizations.