SPORTS AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Building Our Leaders
Mission: Future Stars teaches young people – both campers and counselors – the value of teamwork, leadership skills, and from joining violent gangs and other highly destructive behavior.
Background: In a time when youth gang violence was increasingly apparent, the Future Stars Sports and Leadership Development Summer Camp was initially created in 1998 as a part of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell Youth Services Department. Involved in the development process were Matthew Wolf, currently the Communications Director for the New England Patriots; former Lowell Police Superintendent Edward Davis, III, now Boston Police Commissioner; former Lowell Mayor Eileen Donoghue and Lowell City Councilor; and former CMAA Youth Services staff Arn Chorn-Pond and Sayon Soeun. Initial funding for the program came from the Red Auerbach Youth Foundation.
When the Future Stars Sports and Leadership Development Summer Camp was first created, its emphasis was to serve fifty Cambodian youth, with the mission of diminishing youth violence and developing Cambodian youth to become leaders. There was also a goal of expanding to serve Latinos in three years.
In 2002, the program was passed down to Light of Cambodian Children, Inc. with the phasing out of CMAA’s Youth Services Department.
In the summer of 2007, Future Stars served approximately 130 young people (60% Cambodian-American, 30% Latin0s, and 10% of other backgrounds) and employed 23 young counselors from Lowell. In addition to sports, arts and crafts, and leadership activities, the young people were also empowered to embrace and appreciate diversity in all facets of their lives.