sports equal…lessons in diversity

Teandra Pitts, team manager and treasurer of the Pasadena Giants football league, is helping parents in her community apply for the Every Kid Sports Pass. Teandra takes her laptop to the park everyday to encourage families to apply and to show them how simple the application process is to navigate. “I tell everyone I know. $150.00 four times per year? This is a big deal.”

After hearing about the Pass program from a parent, Teandra learned more about it from her local Dick’s Sporting Goods store and applied for her son.

“The application process is way faster than I thought it would be. You just have to enter basic information and the debit card works great. So many parents are looking for financial assistance, and once they understand how easy it is to sign in to SNAP or Medicaid to get the proper documentation, the rest is easy.”

As team treasurer, Teandra knows that many parents struggle with the $225.00 program fee. “When parents aren’t able to pay, our program suffers and we aren’t able to do all the things we’d like to do for the kids. We try to make it affordable by reusing shoulder pads, uniforms and helmets, and we offer a free football camp, but there is a cost to running the program and if parents aren’t able to pay the registration fees, we have to cut some things out.  The Pass program solves that issue for many parents.”

Working with the Pasadena Giants is a family affair for Teandra. Her son, Alijah, and three nephews play, and her brothers all serve on the board and are coaches as well. Alijah, who is 11 years old, started playing with the league when he was six, and he enjoys learning new skills as he’s progressed.

“I learn stuff everyday, and I’ve realized through playing sports that I’m not always right and I’m not perfect, and I can always learn something new,” says Alijah. He and Teandra have also made strong social connections through their involvement with the team.

“This is our football family. We have built relationships with kids and families over the years that are very important to us. During the season, we are at the game location every Saturday, all day long, and we consider these people our family.”

Teandra is also pleased that the team has become diverse and inclusive. “It’s so important for kids to experience diversity. The league used to be predominantly black, but now we have asian kids, white kids, hispanic kids. The kids are getting lessons in diversity and playing together is breaking barriers. They may be looking at each other thinking “that kid doesn’t look like me, but he/she is my teammate and then they become like family. I’m really happy that our league has evolved into what it is today.”

Parents like Teandra who help spread the word about the Every Kid Sports Pass are critical to our goal of becoming a household name for families who need assistance with sports fees. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer/advocate for Every Kid Sports, please email us at [email protected].

– The Every Kid Sports team