We are excited to kick off another great school year with our AFH U teams all across various universities. Teams from University of Virginia, University of Southern California, Michigan State University, Southern University, Tulane and Louisiana State University are back in school and ready to have another year of incredible impact in their local communities.
During the 2016-2017 school year, we made significant progress in streamlining AFH U. This progress is due to a significant investment of time and resources in measurement and evaluation, leveraging technology more efficiently, expanding our curriculum, working closely with on-the-ground program managers, and most recently, hiring an AFH U National Director to lead this program. We believe that we will continue to build momentum in the 2017-2018 school year as we expand and deepen our program impact at existing universities while we strategically grow AFH U in new communities.
Last year, we had 1,028 athletes involved in community events from 29 various sports teams. They volunteered a remarkable 2,283 volunteer hours in communities, which was a 2000% increase from our 2015-2016 year!
With over 29 different community partners in multiple states, we are proud to see the difference that our teams are having with such a variety of programs in local communities.
We are focused on impact and continuous improvement, and hear from athletes that their time with AFH U has an impact on them as well as the kids and communities that they serve.
From last year, student athletes reported:
• 88% increased their knowledge about community involvement.
• 92% reported being more likely to give back after their AFH U experience.
• 92% felt inspired after giving back to their community.
• 94% enjoyed volunteering this year.
• 95% felt a connection to the kids they volunteered with this year.
• 95% felt their experience was meaningful.
• 93% felt empowered to do more after volunteering with AFH U.
• 94% felt they had an impact on the children they volunteered with this year.
What we hear from student athletes and students has an impact on our work and helps us determine how best to proceed with the program.
“I thought that the program was terrific and I look forward to doing more activities through Athletes for Hope in the future.” –AFH U student athlete
“By having a student athlete volunteer with us, I learned to do different exercises and stretches to be healthy and physically active that will help in different sports.”-Student in program with AFH U athlete
Now, more than ever, we know the importance of getting student athletes involved in our communities. After the recent Hurricanes in Texas and now Florida, we’ve seen our professional athletes such as Houston Texans player JJ Watts and the Houston Dash give back time, talent and energy to elevate awareness and raise critical dollars for their communities. As we saw last year when horrific floods hit Baton Rouge and our LSU and Southern teams stepped up and lent a hand to support their communities, we are proud to say that our AFH U teams are poised and ready to help where needed. We hope all of our student athletes have a remarkable year ahead and we can’t wait to see all that you do!