Mission Moment: Amirah Stroking Tennis Balls, College Commitment

Published On: February 21, 2023Categories: NewsBy

Amirah has been stroking tennis balls for a few years since the passing of her father, U.S. Army Corporal Jordan G. And thanks in part to Angels of America’s Fallen’s long-term support, she stroked pen to paper in committing to play varsity college tennis this fall.

“I wanted to send a big shout out to your organization,” her mother wrote. “Amirah was recruited to play tennis at the college level. Earlier this month, Amirah officially committed to attend Olivet College this fall and play tennis.”

Angels supports activities that provide healthy and regular engagement for children of our fallen military and first responders. Activities include sports, fitness, dance, music, the arts, and other pursuits that link children with positive adult role models, cultivate individual interests and encourage exploration of a variety of developmental abilities. In this way, the children can invest effort into developing their passions and writing their own story of success, despite their loss.

“Without all your support, I’m sure she would not have improved to this level,” Amirah’s mother added. “So again thank you!”

Children who lose a parent in childhood are at increased risk for PTS, depression and anxiety, behavioral problems, poor academic performance, and suicide. Extracurricular activities can reduce such risk factors by improving resilience, which is “the successful adaptation to life’s tasks in the face of social disadvantage or highly adverse conditions” (Finn, 1997). For example, participation in team sports brings benefits including increased social integration, teamwork and social skills, emotional control, confidence, discipline, empathy, and emotional well-being (Wijtzes et al., 2014). Participation in extracurricular activities have also been shown to improve grade point averages, SAT scores, and attendance records (Craft, 2012).

To provide continuity in supporting a healthy lifestyle and positive youth development, Angels offers year-round support from the time of loss until the youth reach the age of 19. Through Case Management, peer Support, outreach and Referrals, we ensure that the families of the Fallen receive support and access to our partners in the community that offer other resources.

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