The holiday season is a time we pause to remind ourselves of all the blessings in our lives. This state of gratitude and reflection led the staff at PeacePlayers International-Cyprus (PPI-CY) to ponder a few of the many reasons they’re grateful to be a part of PeacePlayers. In this week’s blog International Fellow, Ashley Johnson, shares her reasons as to why she is personally thankful to have had the opportunity to work with PPI:
Grateful to be a part of a passionate family: PeacePlayers staff and coaches are filled with a passion to positively impact our kids’ lives and give them opportunities to connect with other youth from across the island. This passion is contagious and it drives us to make every practice, every twinning, every tournament and every camp successful and memorable.
Grateful to work for a mission that has such a powerful purpose: To unite, educate and inspire youth from divided communities through the game of basketball.
Grateful that I get to share passion for the game of basketball: I remember being devastated walking off the court my senior year of college feeling like I had to leave this game that I loved behind. Never did I realize that the same passion that had driven me every day to be the first one on and the last one off the court during my 15 year career would bring me all the way to Cyprus to share that same passion.
Grateful to be a friend, mentor and coach: Our role as coaches or staff at PeacePlayers only begins on the basketball court, the real impact though, stretches far beyond. We are role models and mentors to our players, encouraging our participants to be well-rounded active citizens and champions for peace in their communities. I’m thankful to build relationships of trust and appreciation with our players and staff and to know that we each make one another better people.
Grateful for the coaches that we have in our program: We have a truly special group of coaches; they are the key to the success of the organization. Here in Cyprus we have a few coaches that have been with us from the very beginning, they keep kids coming back year after year allowing PeacePlayers to influence kids’ lives in the long-term.
Grateful to be a part of the larger PeacePlayers family: When you are a member of a PeacePlayers’ family, you are a part of the International family of PeacePlayers. I’m thankful to have a network of passionate people across the globe working together for the same cause.
Grateful that I have many more PPI moments to create!
The spirit of thankfulness is shared throughout our organization, Program Coordinator, Stephanie Nicolas, Managing Director, Marina Vasilara, and Board President, Akis Christofides, share their sentiments of gratitude:
“I am grateful and honored to be part of the PPI family, and grateful for the opportunities we provide to our participants that will help them develop as future leaders and role models in our society.” -Stephanie Nicoas, PPI-CY Program Coordinator
“For me, I am grateful to be surrounded by motivated, and inspiring people who put peace and children first in their lives!” -Marina Vasilara, PPI-CY Managing Director
“I am thankful for the opportunity to make a difference in young people’s lives. I am thankful for the opportunity to work for a better future.” -Akis Christofides, PPI-CY Board President
During this special time, may your hearts be filled with appreciation and your minds be conscious of the treasures that surround you . Happy Holidays!