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Why We Give - YSC Academy
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Giving to YSC Academy is at its heart about providing passionate, young men the opportunity to pursue their dreams while obtaining life-long lessons through the rigorous pursuit of excellence. The lessons learned through commitment to becoming the best one can be both athletically and academically are lessons that stay with one for life. Commitment is not always an easy road, and the motivated students attending YSC Academy represent a minority of high-school-aged students in this country who understand what it means to be truly focused on a dream.

YSC Academy leverages our students’ passion for soccer into a passion for learning… we develop a community ethos, a collective mentality that gives each individual member of our community the inner confidence and belief that life’s challenges can be conquered through hard work, focus, and commitment. Our students are blessed with a special gift in soccer and should you choose to support our school you can help us provide them the gift of education.

YSC Academy is not an experiment or a new idea — its philosophy and methods have been successfully implemented for over 40 years by Burke Mountain Academy (BMA), a school for elite ski racers in northern Vermont. BMA is the conceptual genesis for YSC Academy and has produced many national team and Olympic skiers including the 2012-13 world slalom champion, a 17 year senior. Warren Witherell, founded Burke Mountain Academy in 1970, making BMA the first sports-specific high school developed in North America. I was fortunate enough to attend BMA and experience firsthand the power of the school’s community value system and commitment to excellence in academics and athletics. I founded YSC Academy because I want to share this life changing experience and special environment with youth in our community. I ask for your support to help me in this mission.

Below, I leave you with words of inspiration from Warren Witherell…

In all sports, the most successful junior development programs excel at teaching a lot more than athletic skills. Kids, coaches and parents work together to teach character and values. They talk about trust, teamwork, responsibility and kindness. Over time, they learn how to build cultures and value systems that breed success not only in their athletic pursuits, but throughout their lives. When the kids have significant roles in designing and building their programs, they work much harder to continually strengthen them.

 I am a strong believer that every student in a school (or athlete in a sports program) must have significant “ownership” in creating and sustaining the values that define their programs. This goal cannot be reached by having a few students on a committee that meets occasionally with a group of parents or staff who “run the program.”  

From the first day of its founding, Burke Mountain Academy has had a mantra that applies equally to all students, staff and parents: “Every day, everywhere you go, and with every person you meet – earn respect for yourself, your family, and your school.” 

This simple mantra requires every student, coach, and parent to accept responsibility for the success of their program. Most important, it grants all the kids unusual freedom and opportunities to be important builders of their programs. This is an environment that kids thrive in.  – Warren Witherell, Founder, Burke Mountain Academy


Thank you for your consideration.

Richie Graham
YSC Academy