Classroom of Champions

first_imgIn his last year of competing on the Olympic Bobsled Team, Steve Messler and his sister wanted to do something that would make a difference using his experience as an athlete.Messler explains that growing up, his parents were teachers, his sister is a teacher and so is he, so doing something that involved schools was just natural.He says he did the talk thing in schools that everyone who is successful does, but wanted to do more.“We wanted to find a way that I could have an impact utilizing all the incredible stuff that I had learned along the way, and show kids that it wasn’t just two and a half weeks on T.V. but there is a process to doing big things in life,” Messler said.With that, Classroom of Champions is what came out of that goal.Messler said that technology is the best way they can communicate and build a relationship with students in the program because it allowes more than just the one time meeting in person.“We knew that creating relationships with those kids for them to learn, especially ones in troubling circumstances, they need to trust the people that they are working with and learning from.”Messler said that the organization has spread across seven different countries since it started, with major programs in the United States and Canada.There have been 1,900 kids learning from 80 Olympians, Paralympians and University Athletes.Messler said that the words they use to describe their students are “Grit and Resilience” because they learn through their mentor that they can push through anything in life.“They see their Paralympian Michelle Salt who is a Calgarian, they see her overcoming adversity of a motorcycle accident, and having a positive outlook on life with her having lost a leg. They now think well I can certainly get through my math test now, or I can certainly deal with this or I can treat somebody else better because I know this person who is a little bit different then me but I look up to.”Applications for the 2017-2018 school year for the classroom of Champions close June 30.For more information on the application and program click here.last_img read more