As we move further along in our co-op, we’re starting to see our roles here at Sport in Society take shape.  From the beginning, we were told that we would partner with the YMCA to enhance the organization’s professional development and program quality assessment.  At first I was uncertain as to how we would attain this goal.  Now though, we have a clear and tangible plan laid out for us.

Earlier this week the Sport in Society staff and co-ops met with several urban YMCA Executives Directors.  The meeting was encouraging because the Executive Directors were there to listen to the strategy set out for professional development and provide feedback.  It was also an opportunity for everyone to meet one another.

The next steps for the co-ops will be to interview all key stakeholders within the YMCA involved with teen programming.  Its exciting to actually see the model that was given to us at the start of co-op begin to transpire.  I feel that now that SIS and the YMCA have a mutual understanding out what we’re trying to accomplish, the co-ops will be very busy implementing the professional development assessment plan.

Posted by Courtney Mortimer

Staff Fun Day

On August 25, 2011 us Sport in Society co-ops took a little break from the office and enjoyed a fun filled day by going on a retreat to Kimball Farms with the rest of the Sport in Society team and got a chance to meet with people who work with CPS. The day was filled with things such as mini golf, free food, bumper boats, more free food, batting ranges, and did I mention free food. Also there was free ice cream as well. Overall, the day was fun, I got to meet a lot of people who work in the same office building as we do and interact with them. There, I experienced my first golfing experience, in which it’s boring to watch (in my opinion), but fun to play. Also, I got a chance to play mini golf for the first time as well, in which I may of picked up a new hobby. Mini golf was something I always wanted to do in life and I finally got the chance to and I enjoyed it. The other co-ops and myself got an opportunity to go to the driving range to hit some golf balls. I struggled hitting the ball for my first time but I made up for it in mini golf. There was plenty of free food and not to mention free ice cream, which was good to eat. The day in itself was enjoyable and I had fun.

By: Demetrius Biggs

The first steps…

Working at Sport in Society has heightened my concern for the inner city youth in Boston. Unfortunately, a lot of these children do not have strong role models that they can look up and relate to. Im not talking about your typical star athlete role model, but someone who they can actually call if they have a problem or someone who motivates them to do great things in life.

I feel that it is especially important to have these types of people in your life. Growing up as a competitive figure skater the “older girls and boys” at the rink is what I always strived to be. To me they had determination, strong work ethic, and were extremely smart. This pushed me to WANT to be better in skating and in life.

As we work with the YMCA’s we are currently trying to develop their staff for the teen/middle school programs. I think this focus on teen staffing will be a way for the Y’s to reach these kids in a more positive way. When an organization has a good staff that kids want to get to know, it will not only bring them into the Y’s but it will provide them with people who care about them and motivate them to achieve greatness. This motivation and extra push is crucial in their lives because they might not be receiving  it at home or feel that they don’t have the ability or knowledge to do so. Creating a good staff is the first step in bettering the lives of youth in Boston. Although, we wont see immediate results I know that in the long run the YMCA’s of Greater Boston will become a safe and fun environment that kids will want to come to.

posted by Elizabeth Stern

Working within the office of Sport in Society

For the past few weeks, the other coop students and myself have been working at the office of Sport in Society within the College of Professional Studies at the Colonnade building at the Christian Science Center.  These past weeks have been really interesting being a coop because we have been able to observe what Sport in Society means to the full-time staff.  The coops have been able to sit in on more and more meetings and we have been able to work on a lot of really interesting projects for SIS and the Greater Boston YMCA. A few of the projects that the other coops and myself have been working on are plans for a YMCA field day for Hyde Park and Wang YMCAs young teenager groups.  Also we have worked on updating the Sport in Society orientation manual.  This project is very fun because we are able to see the older programs that were used by Sport in Society over the years.  And as a coop I can see if some programs are still evolving.  One of the last pieces of information that myself and the other coops are really looking forward to is the Huskies 4 Sport in Society.  Huskies 4 SIS is a student group that wants to teach people how sport can evolve and make a difference in life.  A lot of these programs that us coops have the pleasure of assisting in completion on are the kinds of programs that can make a difference in a persons life and change their opinions on what sport means to them.

One of the latest projects that us coops are working on is the MOU (memorandum of Understanding) for the partnership between SIS/Northeastern and the Greater Boston YMCAs. This project has been fun as we were able to look at previous coops MOU’s and see how they constructed their MOU and understand what an MOU is by creating practice MOUs and working as a team to reach agreements between fictional organizations.

This upcoming week, i am looking forward to our staff day because I can build more camaraderie with my fellow coops and fellow full-time staff here at SIS.

Thomas Demers

SIS behind the scenes….

For the last couple of weeks, myself and the rest of the co-ops have been working at the office, doing a lot of small projects such as updating and revising the Sport in Society orientation manual. Also Meghan, our supervisior, which is sad to say that she will be leaving us soon, has allowed all of us to sit in on the some of the meetings that the full staff has had throughout the weeks. One meeting in particular was the goal setting meeting, in which the team comes up with new goals that they want to accomplish for the upcoming year. The meeting lasted about 2 hours and sitting in there, you’re like a deer in headlights, you have no idea of what’s going on because the full time staff is talking about the full picture of Sport in Society, not just us working with the YMCA’s, which is part of the picture. Some of the things that we as co-ops heard about but never knew the more detail version of what it is they are trying to accomplish. At the beginning, I tried really hard to focus in on the more in depth stuff they were talking about, but after a while my head was just spinning because I was basically lost. Lost meaning if they needed me to provide some type of feedback, I would have none at all, and I believe the other co-ops felt the same too. Overall, it was a good experience to sit in on a meeting where they get into the meat of what they want to accomplish.

Posted by Demetrius Biggs.

Huskies for Sport in Society

Earlier this week  the other co-ops and I met with Aubrey Bynoe, a co-op from last semester, to discuss the formation of Huskies for Sport in Society (Huskies4SIS).  As stated in the student organization’s constitution, the mission of the group will be to “provide opportunities for students to utilize their passion for sport to serve their local and global community while at the same time engaging in unique leadership and professional development opportunities that open up pathways to sport and social change careers.”  The student group will work with a similar vision as Sport in Society in that they will implement professional development among students, participate in community service projects, and use sport to reach out to local youth.

Since the student group has yet to really kick off, the meeting circulated around coming up with a strategy to recruit students.  Our main objective will be to get students to join while attending the Northeastern volunteer fair in mid-September.  Our job will be to assist Aubrey in getting students to come up to the Huskies4SIS table and sign up.  We’ve brainstormed a couple of ideas to engage prospective members and plan to set up another meeting to come up with a strategic plan.

Another initiative is to use social media to gain attention.  Huskies4SIS currently has its own facebook page, but Aubrey would like to increase page activity and get more “likes”.  I think that once more students, particularly freshmen, arrive on campus then the group will increase in popularity.  Aubrey and the past co-ops have done a great job in creating the group and I look forward to helping them expand their vision.

Posted by Courtney Mortimer

Entering the unknown

After a month of being with Sport in Society my time finally comes to join BPS Athletics. With this in mind I would like to set some goals for myself; one being to learn as much as I can. With the opportunity in front of me I need to make the best of it. Secondly, I would like to benefit BPS in some way, I want something that I do to be a lasting impact on the department.

Even though the goals will be hard to measure I think keeping these in mind are important. I look forward to working with everyone in BPS to try to help them in anyway I can.

It truly has been a learning experience with SIS, and i’m extremely excited to see the impact I can make in the next five months.

Posted by Brett Favre Jr.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end”

Sunday May 15, 2011 marked my final race as a collegiate rower. I have been rowing for ten years and never thought about what my life would be like after rowing was over. July 12, 2011 marked my first day of co-op at Sport in Society. This co-op came at a very pivotal time in my life. Whether Sport in Society knows it or not that have helped me to see that rowing isn’t everything and there are other ways to use sport in my life without being directly involved. Don’t get me wrong without rowing I wouldn’t even be at Northeastern and wouldn’t have all of these amazing opportunities that I have had so far in my life. Rowing has given be valuable life skills that I use everyday.

I was floored when I realized that some kids going to school in Boston don’t even have gym class. They need an opportunity to try out different sports and experience some of the benefits of sport. Getting a chance to put together and read the strategic plan I learned so much about Sport in Society as an organization and some of the other organizations doing similar work. With these kind of organizations in place things are only going to get better for these kids. Keeping in mind that we can’t solve these problems facing Boston youth in one day I am very excited for the opportunities that will come working at Sport in Society!

Posted by Ronnie Townsend

How “Sports” affected me in my “Society”

I’m going to start by simply saying that without sports being in my life, I would not be the man I am today. Sports does a lot more than showcasing a person athletic talent, being apart of a team, and having the opportunity to win a championship. No, sports makes you a better person in life. In my prospective, sports helped stopped me from being selfish, being ungrateful, non-appreciatative, and it taught me how to respect others, how to never to think that I’m better than everybody else and more importantly being a man. Growing up, I was a big football fan, idolizing players like Terrell Owens and Deion Sanders. To the media, they were known as selfish players and me being at a young age, I believed that because all they mostly did was say all negative things about their personality and that all they care about is themselves. All I remember seeing them do is scoring touchdowns and doing end zone dances, which in part taught me how to dance, and allowed me to become such a big fan.

But, as I got older, I realized that they were two of more confident players in the league and that they just want the opportunity to help their team win. I also started to watch and listen to a player by the name of Ray Lewis, middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, who would continuously press the issue that football made him a better person. I sat and taught for a long time, that he is right. Thinking about it, in football and with any other sport, there’s a lot of responsibility, determination, and time that a person has to put in their sport in order to succeed. People create goals that they want to accomplish in their respective seasons. Now I’m realizing that the effort you put in preparing for a sport, is the same effort you can put in your life. We as people set goals to live a better life such as saving money, spending time with family more, or giving back to the community. And that’s what we’re trying to do here at Sports In Society. We want to help these different organizations we work with through the love of our sports to help their children live a better life. Whether it’s helping them fight through poverty, obesity, the lack of facilities, programs, etc, to allow them to be better people in this world. Sports in Society is here for a good cause and we’re willing to do whatever is possible to do so.

Posted by Demetrius Biggs

Last week of observation at the Wang YMCA

This past week at the Wang YMCA, Liz Stern and myself spent the week observing more camp activities.  We were able to accompany the campers on a field trip to the New England Aquarium as well as see the camp participate in a program that incorporates ballroom dancing, that had been previously set up by a former co-op student from Sport in Society.  Also we were able to accompany YMCA employees to Chinatown’s National Night Out event.  Seeing how the YMCA is able to create partnerships in the community was really interesting because they are using what resources they have and other organizations are coming to aid in the process. Liz and I found out that the aquarium trip was free to the YMCA and the aquarium was extending a helping hand to make sure that all YMCA campers were taken care off.  This kind of partnership was something I did not expect to see when we were at the YMCA observing.

On our last day at the Wang Y.  Liz and I went to talk to the various members of the staff to look at ways that we could help the kids and learn how some of the programming works at the Wang Y.  We talked to the executive director about opportunities we can give the kids and she was able to lead us on a path that Liz and I are excited to try and make come true.  Also we talked to the youth and sports director at the Y and told him of our ideas to influence kids with the idea of creating a teenager field day at a local university.

These past two weeks at the Wang YMCA have been a pleasure and an eye opener as to what goes into programming for a community that is tightly knit and heavily youth populated.

Posted by Thomas Gardner-Josue Demers III