Inspiring change through the power of sports

Aetna is pleased to celebrate the African American men and women whose passion for sports and the well-being of their communities has placed them in positions to transform the lives of those around them – helping to create a healthier world through sports.

They are athletes. They are coaches. Some you may know. Some you may be reading about for the first time. All are making positive impacts in their own neighborhoods and around the world. They are providing free or very low-cost gymnastics to inner-city youth in New York City. They are coaching a Little League team in Chicago all the way to the Little League World Series. They are teaching at-risk youth to become coaches and mentors through football. They are introducing sports such as lacrosse and golf to kids who might never have the opportunity to learn them. They are ambassadors for the communities in which they live and inspiring positive change through sports.

In this 34th annual Aetna African American History Calendar, you will be introduced to 13 individuals who are doing remarkable things through sports. Their selfless desire to help the people around them is what drives them. They’re taking the lessons they learned on and off the field or court and sharing them with the youth who are determined to change the course of their lives.

Each month you will learn about the important contributions these men and women and their organizations are making in the urban neighborhoods where many were born and raised. This year, you also can hear them tell their stories in their own words through a series of videos that are part of the online version of this calendar.

The work that is being done through sports is helping to create healthier communities – not just physically, but mentally. By changing the mindset of the youth in our inner cities, they are being set on a course for success. These are paths that they might not otherwise have found were it not for the power of sports and the exceptional people who are bringing it to them.