As a teacher with nearly 20 years of experience, I see the difference that participation in extracurricular opportunities can make in a student’s ability to learn. I founded City Youth Matrix to remove the barriers of cost and transportation for families that can’t afford to send their children to programs. We pay for activity fees and provide reliable drivers. We require parent/guardian involvement at practices/games and lessons to build and strengthen the family unit. We invest a great deal of time and focus on helping parents and guardians fill gaps and access resources that will help them independently support children beyond the enrichment programs. We call this our Family Empowerment Platform and offer quarterly dinners to help families build community. We vet and provide insurance to volunteer drivers who pick up our participants and drive them to and from activities. Our drivers are a component of the empowerment program too and like getting to know our participants. Numerous studies show that sports, music, and arts education programs impact our children into their adulthood. I passionately believe that children become truly whole and their potential is maximized through the relationships and experiences they encounter through extracurricular opportunities.