Clive Community Foundation: Invested in Future Leaders
In 2012, as a junior in high school, Dylan DeClerck took action when he found it unimaginable that some kids in his community couldn’t participate in organized sports due to lack of financial means. That’s when he founded Opportunity on Deck, a nonprofit organization that now provides a variety of sports opportunities at low- to no-cost across the metro. In 2019, DeClerck again saw and acted on a new need—leadership training for teens who had aged out of Opportunity on Deck sports but still wanted to volunteer, learn and grow as coaches.
“We heard from former participants of our program that they were interested in volunteering and helping other people in the community as they had been helped,” DeClerck explained. “But they didn’t really know how to do it.”
The Clive Community Foundation recognized DeClerck’s vision for a new leadership program and its alignment with the Foundation’s three areas of focus—Quality of Life, Health and Wellness, and Collaboration. With a grant awarded by the Foundation, Opportunity on Deck held its first-ever Youth Leadership Academy at Crestview School of Inquiry in Clive for 20 participants. While the final two sessions and a college tour were held online due to COVID-19, those who completed those sessions, the college tour, and developed a mock practice plan were mailed a certificate and a personalized recognition video.
The experience left lasting impressions, as one young lady shared with DeClerck after finishing the program: Thank you so much for everything you have done for me! You have opened so many more opportunities for my near-future and made sure that I started in a healthy environment.
Thank you to the Clive Community Foundation donors who made this opportunity to grow, learn and volunteer possible for young future leaders!