Coach Austin: A Mother Committed to UI’s Mission

Thanks to Coach Simba, the On-Site Program Director at Jenner Academy, for this blog post.

Mrs. austin's daughter.jpg

You see her walking down Elm Street at 7:20 AM with all three of her kids. Holding her youngest child Davarius by the hand she carefully crosses the street and enters the cafeteria with a smile and a warm greeting, “Good morning, Coach Simba”. She gets all her children’s gym shoes out and tells them to hurry up and put them on while grabbing their shin guards.

This is Mrs. Austin, a dedicated mother at Jenner Academy in the Cabrini Green neighborhood who encourages her children to be active in extracurricular pursuits and the school community. She has two sons and one daughter (pictured) on the soccer team. I asked her a few questions:

How long have your children been a part of the Work to Play Program?

2 years

Why did you choose Urban Initiatives for your kids?

I wanted them to be challenged. It was something different. Soccer is not a popular sport among African Americans but I wanted them to learn and become more active.

How has the program impacted their behaviors and attitudes?

They eat a lot healthier now. They actually like eating stuff like apples and granola bars and we have started buying more of these things.

Why do you choose to be so involved and why do you think it’s important as a parent to come out to games and field trips?

I have seen that they are as much into something as I am. If I come out and support it and show effort then they do too. My husband and I try to come to as many field trips as possible because we want to see what they are learning as well.

Also, when I send them to you they become your children so I want to know that my children are being looked after and I am happy that they are with Urban Initiatives. My children are excited to be in the program and they are the ones who remind me about soccer practice and the days for field trips.

Mrs. Austin has been a dedicated mother and active supporter of the Work to Play Program at Jenner, and we are happy to say that she has recently accepted a job with Urban Initiatives as an Assistant Coach. The Urban Initiatives team would like to thank Mrs. – now Coach – Austin and all other parents that are supportive of our mission!

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