This year is set to look much different for the YQCA program, making the move to virtual over the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This fall, we’ll still be holding the same weekly track sessions, just over Zoom instead,” said Lombard. “It’ll be a mix of physical activity and mentorship. We’ll do our best to use breakout rooms to continue to use the mentorship model where Young Quakers and Big Quakers are able to pair up and connect in smaller groups.”
The Netter Center has been working through the virtual programming since the pandemic started earlier this year, and with trial and error has been quite successful. YQCA will even take another step forward this fall, hoping to send sports equipment to the homes of the Young Quakers to encourage them to continue to participate.
“We’re hoping by getting equipment to their homes, it’ll motivate them to sign in and get physically active with us,” continued Lombard. “But, hopefully, it will also give them the resources to be physically active when they are not in session with us as well.”
Although a different platform, the difference the Penn student-athletes make to the Young Quakers is priceless.
“I don’t know if the Penn athletes fully recognize their impact except for in some special moments, but the Young Quakers are always looking up to their Big Quakers, not only as athletes but also as college students,” said Lombard.
“I think this program is a win-win,” followed Dolan. “The Young Quakers are having the opportunity to work with college-aged students and it can be very inspirational. And the opposite is true too, I think our team benefits a lot with the opportunity to teach young people and to give back through sport, as well as grow and appreciate all the things they have here at Penn.”