Annual Assembly: 2018.01.24

They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

     Can you believe a year has come and gone since the Handshake Class of 2017 started their journey? First was the recruiting, applications, and essays. Then it was orientation, corporate gatherings, team gatherings, and 1-on-1 interactions. That made for a lot of opportunity in terms of coaching and growth both for the student-athletes themselves and their relationships with their teammates and coaches.

The Handshake America Columbus Class of 2017

The Handshake America Columbus Class of 2017

     That is what Handshake America is all about: coaching the individual and creating and growing relationships so that they can be in a better position to achieve their goals. Every athlete knows that practice is the key to improvement. Practicing well and with a purpose, and with a guiding hand of experience puts you in the best position for success on the field. When you take that same recipe off the field you have a mentality for success in life. If you are a part of Handshake, it is because you are practicing to be a person of success. Perseverance, Passion, People, and Positivity are the dyes that all bleed into the fabric of your Presence.

Fantastic Four takes home top honors in the Team Competition

Fantastic Four takes home top honors in the Team Competition

     Looking back at where we have been, the line-up of speakers we had, the venues that hosted us, the facilitators and the activities, those were all geared to develop and drive home the 5 P's. It is almost shocking to think so much access is granted to a group like this. But, then again, there aren't a lot of groups like this. This is one of life's truly unique opportunities.


     It was wonderful to see the support for the young people, too. To the families, the parents, the brothers and sisters, the coaches, and the school reps that were there for them, you help keep their foundation firm. You are so important to them. Keep it up!


     So, as we tip our hats to the graduating class we are already looking forward to the incoming class of 2018, which is already being formed. Since 2012, Handshake America has seen 124 student athletes grow their way through the program and earn their scholarships. Sure, we have grown in numbers, but to see the personal growth of the student athletes each year since the program's inception, well, that's what its all about. We can’t wait to see the People - students and coaches - who will be added to the Handshake family this year!

     Alumni, keep practicing the 5 P’s and don’t be a stranger. Keep in touch with the What’s Happening blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. “Check in” with your Handshake family and stay Positive!

     Coaches, you are what makes this program so effective. Keep coming back. Keep making time for these students. Persevere!

     Board members and all those that volunteer and coordinate and work tirelessly behind the scenes, stay Passionate!

     If we continue to bring all of that together, you can bet Handshake America will continue its Presence in the community through the lives of its members and alumni in the years to come. Kudos!