At the age of thirteen my life was profoundly changed when I stumbled upon the sport of fencing and a coach who believed in me. When I started, I thought I was just playing a sport, but something unexpected happened at practice: while I was working on turning on the scoring light, I was also turning on my internal light, awakening my own potential and illuminating the path to becoming my best self.
I founded Fencing In The Schools to ensure that today’s children can have the same opportunities that fencing provided for me and my peers. If you’ve been involved in fencing then you know the impact it has had on your life. If you’ve been a parent of a fencer then you’ve seen the impact it has had on your children. Now, imagine that impact amplified across hundreds of thousands of kids.
It is our mission to Turn On The Light for students across the country and help them become engaged, active, confident adults who can set goals and exceed them, lead a team, and have a positive impact on the world.
We Turn On The Light by:
- Sending World Champion Dagmara Wozniak, Olympian Jeff Spear and our other athlete ambassadors to schools in Newark, NJ, Pocatello, ID, Richmond, VA and other cities to share their Olympic journeys with kids who have never seen a pro-athlete before.
- Providing masks, jackets and foils to schools who previously thought fencing was something you put up around the playground to keep children in.
- Training teachers to teach a full unit on fencing so students can be exposed to the sport and learn the lessons innate to fencing.
We’ve now introduced 15,000 children to fencing, but we need your help to reach the thousands more who can benefit from the sport. In order to continue growing we have several key priorities:
- Direct Funding for Programs: Low-income schools often don’t have the budget for fencing, so we provide scholarships to fund the entire program.
- Training Coaches: Training for coaches includes teaching fencing skills as and relaying lessons on character development.
- Creating Curriculum and Instructional Materials: In order for the knowledge of fencing to grow we must have exemplary resources.
- Improving the Technology and Equipment: Embracing cutting-edge technologies will allow us to reduce the cost of fencing for everyone and make the sport more approachable.
We, the fencing community, know fencing has the potential to shape bright futures for children from the whole spectrum of communities and backgrounds. Help us Turn on the Light for our future world leaders, CEOs, and social justice pioneers, for whom fencing will be the first step towards success.
Turn on the light. Donate. Share. Champion.
Founder of Fencing In The Schools