Summer is over, the days are getting shorter, and even in Los Angeles the temperatures are dropping to sweatshirt weather. While most students are gearing up for the basketball and soccer seasons, 20 youth between the ages of 8-16 put on their swimsuits and goggles twice a week to practice for the Club’s swim team.
In a community that has very few pools, the Club’s swim team gets to see the serious side of the sport and has shown their commitment to the team. In a community where students are typically very shy, these swimmers have made a bold choice about how to spend their time and energy. “When the LA84 Foundation gave the Club a grant to completely renovate our aging pool,” says Br. Tom, “the kids confidence grew because they knew someone believed in them.”
The Club is excited about the opportunity for the swim team. “Many of these kids,” says Coach Mike, “have only swam in this pool and have never seen a swim meet.” Transforming the lives of the young in Boyle Heights may intimidate many people, but using Don Bosco’s simple gestures of belief, respect, and investment encourages students to know they are loved, springing them into a dignified life.