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COMORP Teams up with Up2Us Sports

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” Knute Rockne, regarded as one of the greatest coaches in college football history.

This spring and summer, the COVID pandemic had all but grounded productivity to a halt for most of us. But Lindsay Sundberg, Community Outreach Partner’s Academic Advising Program Director chose to align her talents and resources in a direction that could make a difference.

When Lindsay learned about the Up2Us Sports Summer VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program, she immediately reached out to learn more and see if COMORP could add value to their program. Up2Us is the nationwide leader in engaging, training, and supporting sports coaches to serve as mentors and role models to youths living in underserved communities. Up2Us launched their 2020 Summer program by deploying 180 VISTAS nationwide to sports-based youth development programs, all in an effort to help grass-root organizations navigate the difficulties of this period and help improve programs.

After her initial inquiry Lindsay realized she would best serve both organizations by joining the Up2Us Sports Program for the summer of 2020. Lindsay’s years of experience in Athletics and Athletic Academic coaching would bring valuable understanding and knowledge to the VISTA Program and she would benefit from learning the inner workings of a highly regarded national nonprofit that aligns so closely with the COMORP mission.

“What a great experience to be involved with an impactful organization and work with a team of people with such a diverse set of skills and backgrounds” commented Lindsay.

In her role as a Cohort Leader for Up2us Sports, Lindsay was one of 8 VISTAS that served internally at Up2Us Sports. Her role was to help better serve the member organizations. Lindsay worked with multiple Up2Us Sport Host Sites across America helping the community-based programs navigate funding, grant writing, program development, data collection & research, and strategies for dealing with COVID 19.

Lindsay was also able to apply her information technology know-how and took the lead on building an online member website/portal for more seamless and cohesive communication between the Up2Us central office and all the VISTA member locations.

“The new online portal is having a big impact for us because it streamlines so many aspects of communication between Up2Us and the 75 full-year VISTA Members. We put the challenge to the group, but Lindsay stepped up and took the lead on the initiative and really made it happen,” remarked Danielle Walker, Up2Us VISTA Program Manager.

The size and scope of this Up2Us program exposed Lindsay to a wide variety of Sports Based Youth development organizations and experiences that mirrors her involvement with COMORP. She said “It was so inspiring to work with these grassroots initiatives and see how people in the communities would come together to solve big problems facing kids, especially ones related to COVID.”

Lindsay learned firsthand the many challenges facing these organizations and appreciated being a part of it. “Working with so many different organizations made me better understand how funding affects all aspects of nonprofit organizations. For many of these nonprofits to maintain their grants and federal funding, they need to produce measurable results that tie back to the grant’s big picture goals like improved emotional and physical health, mentoring and others,” explained Lindsay. “Measurable and meaningful data collection influenced so many aspects of the program. We would help them figure that out.”

Lindsay looks forward to applying the knowledge gained from her experience with the Up2Us summer program to improve her efforts with COMORP.

For more information on this news please contact Carolyn Rodgers, Communications Manager, carolyn@comorp.org.

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