My relationship with the CYSTEM started when I was a Pop Warner youth football team player. It was during one of our afternoon practices that I learned about the CYSTEM. We were waiting to take the field just as the CYSTEM was wrapping up their training. The kids were about the same age as me, and they were diciplned, they spoke in unison about integrity hard work and dedication. I took notice how the older athletes helped some of the younger or smaller athletes. It was a moment I will never forget, and from that day on, I showed up early to practices just so I could practice with the CYSTEM kids.
After several years of practicing with the CYSTEM I was hired as a youth-coach, and it was the best experience of my life. It taught me how to be a man of moral character and it introduced me to sports and opportunities that I and kids like me never even realized were possible (like skiing and snowboarding). Eventually, I was hired as a youth coach. It was my dream job! Although I moved out of the city, I traveled 30 miles into town each way and didn't think anything of it. It was an opportunity for me to give back just as much, if not more, of the support, confidence, and encouragement that was given to me.
The CYSTEM took a huge hit when its office was burglarized. I had to leave the job I loved and traveled 30 miles every Saturday for, and it nearly destroyed the program. Today, the CYSTEM is at risk of going away permanently!
The CYSTEM, a small non-profit operating on a shoe-string budget that got its start 11 years ago has been doing its part ever since to help educate young people by offering youth services to the community at no cost. It was designed to prepare young student-athletes to excel in school, athletics, and social lives.
Through sports and individual mentorship, the CYSTEM teaches fair competition, good sportsmanship, personal accountability and the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Student-athletes are coached on the ins and outs of our most popular sports; basketball, football, and Baseball, as well as opportunities, to get acquainted with other niche sporting activities like hiking, camping, triathlon, skiing, and tennis. In return, student-athletes are required to dedicate themselves by committing to a 97% attendance rate for the calendar year, a positive attitude and work ethic, maintain good grades in school, and show leadership among their peers and in the communities they live.
The role of social support that the CYSTEM provides is critical. Creating supportive environments whether it's in the household, or by broader communities like the CYSTEM is essential to communities like the one the CYSTEM resides in, and ones just like it across the country.
Since the burglary, the program founder and its Board Members considered suspending the program until 2020. An extremely hard decision that was not considered lightly. Meanwhile, calls from dedicated student-athletes and their parents continued day after day looking for news when the program will reopen again. It's heartbreaking, but the biggest let down is the lack of support to find the perpetrators, and how little to no support we've received from our local elected leaders.
You’d like to think that because we’re here for the community that it'd be here for us.
Luckily, myself and people like me have not given up and believe there are people out there who do care. These people believe that when we enrich the lives of our children it benefits the community, society and that it makes the world a better place.
It's what's done now and moving forward to secure the program and its future that's most important. The CYSTEM has identified that it needs $250, 000 to open its doors in 2020.
Just a small donation of $10, $20, $50, $100 or more will help the CYSTEM keep its doors open, pay for staffing, and allow the organization to grow and facilitate a co-ed program for girls.
You can help support the movement directly!
Please share our story with your friends, family members, and co-workers. With more people aware of our cause we’ll be one more step to reaching our goal.
Thank you in advance for your support.