Project Title: Play On Sports
Name: Arjun Bhalla
Age: 13 & over
Explain This Project? What Is It Exactly?: Play On was an idea that came to me and a friend of mine in February of 2016, we had seen that in a lot of the elementary schools of the Beaverton School district there were a lot of underprivileged kids who wanted to participate in sports, but either couldn't afford them, or didn't really have access to them because of the schedules of their parents. Taking charge, I formed a group of me and three others who were interested in the idea, creating this club of sorts to have sporting events, starting with basketball after school. Last year we started out with the idea in Feb. but the events started in March and went until early June. We ran several programs at elementary schools in BSD - Montclair, Raleigh Park, Chehalem. In order to run events in all of these schools there was a process of forming curriculum and forming a schedule to meet with principals and other administration in order to get events setup. There was a total of about 15 events with roughly 35 attendants per event. Montclair we did the most often, almost weekly and the other two were less often. We have had a total of five volunteers that aren’t a part of the original group at PlayOn, but still helped with running events. At the events we have 1.5 hour basketball lessons, we ran drills, games, and scrimmages. The emphasis was on lessons that would help them in their game, but overall the goal was to have fun. This project since then however, has completely expanded. This year we have taken it to the next level and have already met with the same schools as last year as well as multiple others in the district in order to expand our work. Our goal is to not let this die out once all of us seniors have graduated in May, but to recruit Juniors and Sophomores who would want to volunteer, and then continue to run this organization. To become more official, we went through the process of becoming and official organization with the state of Oregon as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Now, we have already recruited 10 more volunteers, and 2 juniors who were enthusiastic and would like to become a part of the leadership. This is our goals outlined for 2017, as discussed by the original founding members of Aim High:
At the start of 2017, PlayOn aims to have about 20 schools that PlayOn will have a weekly presence at. We have started this already, but we plan on having volunteers trained and starting to lead the school events themselves so that we can expand to more school. The volunteers to student ratio that we are aiming for is 1:7-1:10 (there are usually 30-40 students per event).
How many Projects Have You Done?: I have done just this one project, but am working on another project to improve my school (through Boy Scouts of America... it is for my Eagle Scout rank)
What Impact Did This Project Have On Our Community?: I feel like this project has had an impact on the community, and will continue to. By starting this program in just basketball as an afterschool activity for kids, it really promotes kids being able to work together, learn teamwork, and get physical exercise as well. While I am not 100% passionate about basketball, I believe that the overarching goals of this project such as promoting fitness, cooperation, and persistence have really come across to the kids we are working with through basketball.
Why Do You Aim High?: I "Aim High" because I know that without it, I wouldn't ever be able to reach my goals. I have high expectations for myself and big goals that I want to accomplish. Without a positive mental attitude and desire to succeed, I know that achieving these wouldn't be possible. The project is one way that I can give back to the community that I live in with my friends and hopefully improve the lives of others, and to say that I started something... something positive that influenced others. In my training at AHMA I aim high because I find that if I don't train past my perceived maximum potential, I can't REALLY improve, and that is what I really want.
This project, and just in general - I aim high because I strive to be able to be better and improve myself, but without aiming high and taking risks and putting everything on the table, this often isn't possible.
(Sent via Aim High | Martial Arts | Foundation http://www.aimhighma.org )