For many kids in disadvantaged communities, having access to an athletic field is the first step in choosing a better path through life. It’s a story that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has seen hundreds of times.
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Every day, kids are faced with choices that could have an impact on their lives.
Unfortunately, in some environments where adult supervision and resources are lacking, the choices they make are far more likely to change the trajectory of their future.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater knows this better than anyone.
These three young men, if you look at them on paper, look exactly alike. The difference was that one went and committed a robbery and a murder.
He also knows that kids who are involved in sports tend to make more level-headed decisions.
They have teammates they can’t let down.
They have coaches who care. Adults who believe in them; who hold them to a higher standard.
For these reasons, they are able to step outside of their current circumstances and see the implications of their actions.
In Oklahoma City, Prater has seen hundreds of examples where a quality athletic field has made all the difference.
This commonplace resource that so many schools and student-athletes take for granted is the missing variable for so many disadvantaged communities.
That might be the one opportunity to shift the trajectory of a child’s life.
A field to play on allows a team to form. A team requires coaches and school administration.
Administrators enforce academic standards. Coaches bring guidance and set expectations for behavior.
And when those pieces fall into place, the community comes together to support their team.
Setting off this chain reaction in Oklahoma City’s most disadvantaged communities is the goal of Fields & Futures.
By rebuilding fields across Oklahoma’s largest school district, more kids have an opportunity to step on a field.
And the more kids who take that first step, the more likely they are to choose a better path.