The “Challenge Life Youth Foundation”
The past ten years, the “Challenge Life Youth Foundation” has played a significant role in improving the mental and physical wellness of citizens living on the Arctic Slope and Northwest Coastal regions of Alaska. “Challenge Life” has introduced education programs in reading, writing, social studies, mathematics and science in a creative and exciting format. They have initiated health, nutrition and anti-drug programs to people of every age. Finally, they have worked closely with local citizens and business organizations to establish professional training and a local mentoring program.
The success of “Challenge Life” is steeped in a hands-on approach. Staff members work in the schools and through community organizations. “Challenge Life” makes repeated trips to each community and implements programs that continue throughout the year. The following represents a brief description of three recent “Challenge Life” programs:
Teaching history and writing skills.
“Challenge Life” co-director Al Sokaitis presented a class lecture on why he collects coins and some of the fun facts of numismatics. He told the students why the motto, “In God We Trust” was first added to the Two Cent piece and why a conservative nation changed the design of the Standing Liberty Quarter. The class was then presented with pennies from the 19th century. Al created a writing exercise where each student was to write about the life of their penny. Al told the students how his penny survived the Battle at Wounded Knee, flew with the Wright Brothers, passed through a number of hands during the Great Depression and even snuck aboard the space shuttle. The students then went to work looking up historical events that took place during the life of their penny and emailed their paper to Al. The reward was a history lesson, a writing exercise and the gift of a very old and well traveled penny.
Art and Music.
“Challenge Life” instructor, Tierney Miller, used art as a way to introduce goal setting and goal completion. Tierney had each student design a special “wish box” where they placed their future goals and plans. On the inside of the box, the students would complete three questions; Where are you? Where do you want to be? How will you get there? The “wish box” provided a method to teach students that you must act on you dreams and wishes if you hope to fulfill them.
“Challenge Life” also acted on the current fascination with video games to teach music. After organizing a guitar hero contest in various communities, “Challenge Life” sent musicians to the communities to give guitar, drum and vocal lessons. Numerous students have continued to develop their new found skill with the continued visits by the “Challenge Life” music staff.
“Challenge Life” organized a Family/Corporate basketball tournament for all ages. The goal was to promote a healthy activity and get families out performing that physical activity together. On the corporate side, “Challenge Life” hoped to relieve some of the work place stress by having employees join in a fun healthy outing. The tournament was followed by a banquet that emphasized healthy meals.
Shortly after the event, city recreation officials decided to implement a family and corporate division in their city basketball leagues.
What Can “Challenge Life” Do In Your Community Or Region?
“Challenge Life” designs a particular program for particular needs. The foundation, however, of all the “Challenge Life” programs are mental and physical wellness. Whether you would like to organize a summer basketball camp, a science camp, a fine arts program or adult mentoring, “Challenge Life” will help you to make a difference in your community. Please keep in mind, “Challenge Life” works with groups as young as 8 and as old as 80 (and God willing, even older).
For further questions, please contact: