Penn Athletics is committed to its mission of holistically developing all 1,000 of our student-athletes. As part of this mission we are invested in creating champions in the classroom, in the community and in competition. Across all 33 of our varsity teams, our student-athletes are committed to improving the world around them. Penn Champions Club members set the example that our community is bigger than any one person and it's important to support causes that need assistance. Through this, Penn student-athletes are driven to be champions in the community. Some examples of this include the following:
Through a partnership with the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Penn Lacrosse and Penn Track & Field student-athletes mentor kindergarten through 8th graders from West Philadelphia public schools. Penn student-athletes provide guidance by mentoring the children both on and off the field. In addition to mentoring, the program provides coaches, uniforms, sports equipment, bus transportation, and access to the University’s world-class playing fields at no cost to the schools or their students. The program participants also benefit from the Netter Center’s comprehensive UACS programming, which brings additional academic, human, and material resources from Penn to their schools during the school day, after school and in the summer.
Be the Match
For the last 8 years Penn Football has participated in the “Be the Match” program, which provides potential bone marrow matches to those in need of a transplant. Not only has the entire football team registered as matches, the team runs a drive to recruit those outside the team to offer themselves as potential matches as well. In addition to the entire freshman class registering this year, Penn Football recruited 239 new bone marrow registry members. This has resulted in 11 matches and subsequent bone marrow transplants since Penn Football got involved with Be the Match.
Cradles to Crayons
The Penn Softball team donates its time each year to work with the Cradles to Crayons organization. Cradles to Crayons (C2C) focuses on providing children age 12 and under who live in low-income households with the essentials they need to survive. Of the top 10 major U.S. cities, Philadelphia has the highest child poverty rate with over 130,000 children experiencing severe financial hardship. C2C provides these children with items that will improve their daily lives at home, at school and at play. Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly-new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Penn Softball helps process, package and distribute these items to disadvantaged children.