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Local Nonprofits Partner to Help Student-Athletes Impacted by COVID-19

Aubree Hughes

September 2, 2020

Scholarship Will Provide Mentoring, Counseling, Social Interaction

Columbia, MD – The COVID-19 pandemic has increased mental health concerns worldwide—and for student athletes, fall plans have been turned upside down. Alston for Athletes is partnering with WPO All In Foundation to provide an all-inclusive 4-month training membership to Rogue Academy in Columbia, MD. The scholarship will provide support to student athletes impacted by the cancellation of fall athletics due to the pandemic by providing mentoring, counseling, physical activity, and social interaction between fellow student athletes.

A recent study by the University of Wisconsin shows that two-thirds of high school student-athletes are experiencing depression and anxiety over canceled sports. Marcus Alston, Founder and Executive Director of Alston for Athletes, said student-athletes who experience mental illnesses often look at their sport as an outlet.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty with fall and winter sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alston. “With many of these student-athletes no longer having this outlet it was a perfect time for Alston for Athletes to partner with the WPO All In Foundation and Rogue Academy. Having this scholarship will give local student athletes other outlets outside of sports. It is imperative for student-athletes to find other outlets, because it will help with their personal development and ensure a smoother transition out of their respective sport.”

Alston for Athletes is currently in the process of receiving its 501(c)(3) status. Currently the organization has a partnership with Howard County Public Schools and plans on a soft deployment of their mentoring program in high schools during 2021.

The All In Foundation is a non-profit organization working towards ending the stigma associated with mental illness by creating an inclusive community to help others through treatment that goes beyond recovery.

“We are really excited by the prospect of providing scholarships to these student-athletes whose athletic prospects have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Topaz Navarro, the Executive Director of the All In Foundation. “We recognize the mental health benefits of interscholastic competition and want to provide a mechanism to fill that void left by the cancellation of fall sports. We truly feel that the missing sense of competition, focus, and social interaction can be replication through the services that Rogue Academy is offering and that this partnership is a great opportunity for the community."

Alston and Navarro’s goal for the scholarship program is to create an ongoing scholarship program for local student-athletes in order to continuously provide more outlets for student-athletes outside of their respective sports.

About Alston for Athletes
Alston for Athletes is a comprehensive sports mentoring program that offers student athletes a variety of services to help them succeed academically and athletically. We are fully committed to the success of student athletes on and off the field. Our mission is to help student-athletes improve self-esteem and social competence by emphasizing the importance of goal setting and mental health!

About WPO All In Foundation
Work Play Obsession: All In Foundation is a non-profit organization owned by veterans that uses recreational therapy such as Jiu Jitsu, art therapy, and water based activities as a method to heal the unseen wounds caused by trauma. Their vision is to build a community that is not only inclusive and understanding, but as a bridge between the diagnosis of illness and a support network through treatment, recovery, and beyond. All In Foundation’s passion is building a community with no judgement or bias, but real human-to-human contact in efforts to defeat the stigma behind mental illness.

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