Maldonado has also worked hard to provide the youth with transportation to the gym while maintaining everyone's safety with the use of masks, Plexiglass shields, open windows, and limiting the number of students in the van.
“These youth are resilient,” says YouThrive Youth Specialist Vernon Pope-Banks. “Our program stresses the benefit of getting out of the house every day. When they resist, I challenge them to make healthy choices by asking, ‘OK, then what would you do? What price would you pay for your mental health?’”
Walcoff couldn’t agree more. With over 30 years as a KGO sportscaster and sideline reporter for the San Francisco 49ers, Walcoff has interviewed dozens of professional athletes who came from difficult backgrounds. “Many of these athletes were behind the 8-ball as kids and blossomed through positive influence. That positive influence is exactly what YouThrive provides.”