In Reading, PA, For The City Foundation has built up a goal to reshape sports culture not only locally, but all over the world. In fact, their mission statement is “to impact our community by leading and mentoring youth toward positive life choices through the platform of athletics.”
Founded by Jonathan Gross and Dena Breslin, they bring together their distinct expertise to create a profound impact on the City of Reading and far beyond. Jonathan’s decade-long journey in the basketball and athletic arena is complemented by Dena’s expertise in business development and wellness coaching. Their united vision seeks to uplift the athletes of the City of Reading through support, encouragement, and inspiration.
One of the main ways the Foundation will support local athletes is through scholarship support so they are able to attend college. Beyond that, For The City also works with the families of the youths through programs and education that allows them to stay active and keep their minds sharp. Some of these programs include basketball and athletic camps, community and school speaker events, and the production of a video documentary for local athletes. For The City Foundation also partners with the Reading Rebels professional basketball team and their programming.
Building from the ground up brings its own set of challenges, including the need for more staff, brand recognition, and funds. “Our long term goal is to run a multi use sport and wellness facility in the region that houses all the events and activities for FOR the CITY FOUNDATION, and partners with other like minded nonprofits,” says Breslin. In the coming years, other goals include improving inner-city dialogue among youth and families, fostering increased participation in areas like sports, media, education, and politics, and creating affordable athletic community programs that will enhance mental health and overall well being.
“The proudest moments thus far have been in the smallest of moments. Simply witnessing young children coming out of their shell, with confidence, smiles, with a voice to ask for a signature, or a photo, has given us the best reciprocal inspiration. We envision a world where our Cities’ young leaders are steering their communities to safety, unity and healthy living. So far, we have seen hundreds of kids be moved by our efforts, and we know this is just the beginning.”