Our AFH Community Hero of the Week award is officially back! We’re so thrilled to kick off a new season of this award by recognizing longtime AFH Athlete and track and field World Champion, Kori Carter. We met Kori all the way back at the USATF Annual Meetings in 2014 and she has been involved in a wide variety of causes ever since.
While Kori is always eager to give back in any way she can, her passion has most frequently been focused on female empowerment, especially in sports. She has volunteered with Girls to Women, a nonprofit that provides healthy development programming to local elementary and middle school girls in Palo Alto, shared a personal essay on the importance of Women’s History Month in 2021, and most recently participated in ESPN’s Fifty50 campaign on Instagram, sharing what Title IX means to her and its importance in making sports more equitable for women and girls. Kori also co-hosts Track Girl Summer alongside fellow AFH Athlete and track and field athlete, Natasha Hastings.
Kori has also joined forces with other AFH Athletes to share their stories about living with diabetes as an athlete in order to raise awareness and help uplift children and young adults living with the same diagnosis. Later this month, this group will be sharing their stories and speaking to a group of kids diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about managing their mental health.
After all of that, it should come as no surprise as to why Kori is this week’s Community Hero! We are so grateful to work with Kori and athletes like her. Thank you, Kori, for helping us make the world a better place!
US Paralympian Ayden Jent is this Week’s AFH Community Hero!
Ayden Jent, retired Para Track and Field, U.S Paralympian, has been a dedicated member of AFH since 2016. Ayden has a passion for serving others and it is evident in everything he participates in. From AFH Fit, to our Hospital Heroes Program, he is always looking for ways to give back to his community.
AFH Fit has been a consistent passion of Ayden’s over the years. He has inspired thousands of students to stay active and has also had the opportunity to teach students all about the Paralympics and what it’s like growing up with a disability. He has used his platform to spread awareness about so many important causes and he makes sure that with each interaction people are left with a smile on their face. Constantly going out of his way to spread kindness and joy to others and lift the spirits of those in need, Ayden is an obvious choice for this weeks AFH community hero.
“I encourage you to find something you’re passionate about and go out and support it. It could be protecting trees, animals, the ocean or more. There are so many avenues and potential opportunities out there. Community Service and giving back isn’t just something you do it should be a way of life.”
“My big dream is to one day be able to provide two Scholarships to students from my old high school to help them with college.”
Pro Volleyball Player Katie Lindelow Dickens is this Week’s Community Hero!
Katie has been a consistent and dedicated member of AFH since 2019. She not only leads as a volleyball player and coach, but also in service in her community. Over the years, Katie has committed her time and energy to our AFH Fit Program. While balancing her busy schedule, she has found time to virtually visit with students every month to speak to each word in the AFH Fit C.H.A.M.P.S curriculum. Katie has inspired thousands of kids to stay active and be leaders at their schools.
We are so grateful for Katie’s drive to help others, especially kids!
Najee Harris is Making an Impact Off the Football Field
What’s most impressive about Steelers’ Running Back Najee Harris isn’t just his unbelievable rookie season in the NFL – including his 2021 Pro Bowl selection, PFWA All-Rookie Team and finishing in the top 4 of rushing yards league-wide – it’s his relentless commitment to making the world a better place off the field. For that reason, Najee is this week’s AFH Community Hero!
From the moment AFH connected to Najee at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl, it was clear he was someone who embodied what our organization is all about. Over the past year, all while Najee was preparing to be drafted and then playing for the entire 2021 NFL season, he made time to contribute to many different causes in many different communities, using his platform for good.
In March of 2021, prior to the Draft, Najee made time to visit the North Texas Food Bank, helping pack, sort and box food for food insecure Texans. During the Draft itself, a night that one could say was the biggest of his life, he made it about others and his community by hosting a party for children living at the homeless shelter where he spent time during his childhood. Najee has also recorded multiple videos to spread joy and hope to sick patients at the Children’s Hospital of Mobile Alabama. This week, he participated in Project Play’s Reimagining School Sports event where he spoke on the importance of high school sports and how football opened doors to opportunities he never imagined (an event he prepared for on his 24th birthday!). Najee also founded his own foundation, Da Bigger Picture Foundation, which focuses on assisting underserved families in reaching their potential and goals.
“I found out that I could help people, my story could help people – or it will make them feel like they’re not alone in a way.”
Najee Harris to ESPN
Najee is truly special and we are very lucky to work with him to help make the world a better place. Congratulations, Najee, on being this week’s Community Hero of the Week! And a very Happy Birthday week 🎉
Bronco’s Dalton Risner is This Week’s Community Hero!
Dalton Risner is an unbelievably talented football player and what’s even more impressive is that he simply doesn’t quit making the world a better place. That’s why he’s this week’s AFH Community Hero!
Dalton recognized the platform he held through football during his time at Kansas State University and hasn’t stopped using it for good since. Whether it’s his work through his foundation, The RisnerUp Foundation, working to promote youth physical activity through our AFH Fit Program, raising awareness for food insecurity as a Campaign Champion for our 2021 Feeding America National Nutrition Month campaign, or serving as a Special Olympics Champion Ambassador, Dalton gives his time to so many different, yet equally important, causes.
Some of Dalton’s recent work includes:
Visiting multiple military bases in Hawaii to show his support of our Armed Forces
Hosting an auction and donating the raised funds to support high school students and the nonprofit, A Precious Child, who were affected by the Marshall Fire
Visiting elementary school kids in Denver to inspire them and bring them joy
Bringing smiles to children’s faces who are in the hospital battling cancer
“I’m a Colorado guy. I take pride in being a part of the community and a leader. There are so many families that need help. I want to be a part of that. I can’t imagine how hard it has been on them.”
Dalton Risner, on helping with the Marshall Fire
We feel very lucky to work with Dalton and can’t wait to see what’s next!
USTAF’s Kendra Chambers is this week’s Community Hero!
Kendra Chambers of USA Track & Field epitomizes the mission of Athletes for Hope. Even though she’s full time professional athlete, Kendra still finds the time to use her platform to advance the causes she cares about through AFH campaigns, initiatives and programs.
Over the past 5+ years, Kendra has consistently volunteered her time with schools from across the country through our AFH Fit Program. She’s also worked with us to raise awareness about food insecurity, COVID-19 vaccine access, voting rights, and mental health (just to name a few!) through social media campaigns. Kendra has also filmed videos sending good wishes to children in hospitals and participated in food bank visits in Texas. Outside of her work with us, she recently hosted a track and field clinic in her hometown of El Paso, TX at her high school alma mater.
“[AFH] makes doing what I love – which is inspiring kids by spreading my story – so much easier on me. They have made all of my school visits much more rewarding and meaningful because I get to focus on being an elite athlete while they help me get connected with future generations!”
Kendra is one of our most committed AFH members and it is no wonder she was selected the AFH Member of the Year in 2020. What’s most impressive about Kendra is that she accomplishes all of the great work in the community with a smile on her face and giving spirit. We could not be more proud to work with athletes like Kendra.