Pro Football Hall of Fame, Sunflower Host 'Strong Youth Strong Communities' Youth Summits
Hall of Fame athletes share life experiences and methods for success with more than 850 students
The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sunflower Health Plan, in partnership with Olathe Public Schools, KidsTLC and other statewide partners, recently hosted the Strong Youth Strong Communities (SYSC) Youth Summits in Olathe.
Led by Hall of Famers Darrell Green, Anthony Muñoz, Aeneas Williams, Isaac Bruce and former UNC Women’s Basketball player Iman McFarland, a collective 850 students, ages 13-18 from Olathe middle schools and KidsTLC, attended the summits.
As Kansas has an alarming rate of student suicides, the summits focused on mental health and suicide prevention, with the pro athletes sharing real-life stories, life lessons and methods for success.
"Today's youth are pretty well in touch with their mental health, but this age group needs all the tools we can offer," said Michael Stephens, Plan President and CEO, Sunflower Health Plan. "It’s a focal part of our mission to invest time and resources toward supporting a healthier community. We’re honored to work with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and our community partners to have these conversations with local students, so they can prioritize and improve their mental health.”
In addition to presentations given by Green, Muñoz, Williams, Bruce and McFarland, attendees participated in breakout sessions with the teens discussing the challenges they are facing in school, their communities, and with family and friends. They then received coaching and feedback from the pro athletes and onsite mental health professionals. Attendees had the opportunity to share what they learned during the summit and what lessons they are taking back to help them in their everyday lives.
“Young people don’t care what we know until they know that we care. Hopefully in our time here, (the students) saw the vulnerability and transparency that we have to show them they are special,” said Muñoz.
“At the end of the day, everybody is here for one reason: Because we love our kids; we love our community," said Green.
For Sunflower Health Plan, SYSC fits seamlessly into the managed care plan’s objectives for improving health outcomes for children and young adults through focused, compassionate and coordinated care.
For more information on Strong Youth Strong Communities, please visit www.strongystrongc.com.
About Strong Youth Strong Communities
Strong Youth Strong Communities (SYSC) is a nationwide initiative led by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Centene Corporation and Hall of Famer Darrell Green designed to equip youth and youth-serving organizations in communities across America. SYSC is based on the premise that investing in today’s youth can yield generational returns and positively impact current and future communities. That is why SYSC equips youth with life skills, information, resources, and leadership-focused engagement to help unlock youths’ potential, promote active thinking and sound judgment, and connect them with adult thought leaders and mentors committed to building up youth leaders.