My name is Christopher Terry; I am seventeen years of age, a senior at Community Harvest High School. I am not here to give a biography of my life but to just explain how A Chance for Childrenn and the Life Skills Sports Academyy ultimately transformed me into a sharkk, not the cold blooded animal that swims in the ocean, but a young man hungry for success, and determined to help inner city kids experience the same positive programs that have shaped my life.
The year was 2001. I am a little leaguer playing baseball at Martin Luther King Park in the heart of South Central. I didnnt know it then or pay attention, but A Chance for Children sponsored the Little League.
After one of our grueling Saturday games, my coach approaches me: Chris Terryy, he told me, I have signed you up for a camp at Pepperdine Universityy. Being that I was just ten years old I really didnnt have the slightest clue about where I was going, I was just happy to be selected to go.
Racing back to tell my mom the good news, I didnnt know how much a week at Pepperdine would teach me and how the people I met would send my life in a totally different direction than the statistics predicted I would.
Tai Collins was the woman in charge of the camp; she greeted us with a good morning and Colgate smilee and told us that we would be staying in the dorms for the week. A Chance for Childrenn introduced me to a world that could only be described as a dream.
While the main focus of the camp, was teaching you determination, we were taken to an Olympic size pool and taught how to swim. Almost everyday we were in the pool with LA County lifeguards and volunteers, using all of our energy just to stay afloat. With the guidance of our counselors and the team, by the end of the camp we were all swimming like the professionals.
Rudyy, was the film we watched in one of the amazing lecture halls found at the university. The story was of a young kid striving for his dream of one day playing football at Notre Dame. When his abilities were doubted he continued to work harder until, he was out on the field making tackles with the ND painted on his helmet.
IIll never forget the time I spent at Pepperdine, with Tai Collins and the people at A Chance for Childrenn It really did live up to their name, they gave me a chance to experience something that I would forever cherish and pass on to all people that I come across.
The Life Skills Sports Academyy its really a coincidence that I even got a chance to be a part of such an extraordinary program. Taking it back 3 years this time, 2005 I graduated from Audubon Jr. High School.
Community Harvest is where I would meet Raul Clauros, a P.E teacher/baseball fiend. So I already knew that somehow he would help me with my future academically as well as my baseball career. A guy that has lived his life to the point where he can help kids like myself basically just grow upp, become a young person that will ultimately come back to the community and do the same.
The Life Skills Sports Academy is his pride and joy project, he grooms ballplayers at parks all over South Central from the time they are strong enough to pick up a bat. He has created the LSSA Olympians–a team dedicated to getting High School Seniors into four year university programs to play baseball and hopefully put them in a better place to make decisions with their futures.
Now in my senior year taking a look a what Mr. Claros and the LSSA has done for me and my future –all I can promise is that his efforts are not being put to waste because when I make it in Major League Baseball, IIll come back to the place where it all started for me–South Central Los Angeles, and from what both programs have given me, they will not be disappointed.
-Christopher Alexander Terry
“A Chance for Children” 2001
WHERE IS HE NOW: CHRIS GRADUATED WITH HONORS FROM COMMUNITY HARVEST CHARTER SCHOOL AND IS ATTENDING PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY, WHERE HE PLAYS BASEBALL FOR THE WAVES.
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