Amos Huron on "The Monarch Way"
I first laid eyes on the Anderson Monarchs in the spring of 2005. I was new to Philadelphia, living on South 18th St, and Marian Anderson Recreation Center was basically my front yard. I grew up playing, watching, and reading about baseball, so I knew what good baseball looked like. I spent years working at summer camps, in schools, and in after-school programs, so I knew what good youth development looked like. It was clear that both were on display. From my steps, if the sun was shining just right, it felt like I’d been transported back to a time when baseball was THE “City Game” and kids of all backgrounds felt the sport belonged to them. What I observed was a magical blend of structure and joy; of challenge and support; of hard work and big fun. When I finally made my way across the street to introduce myself to Steve Bandura and volunteer my services, I discovered that all of this was intentional. It was at the core of “The Monarch Way.”
More than a decade later, I have the honor – and huge responsibility – of helping to shepherd the Monarchs, and our parent organization, the Philadelphia Youth Organization, into a new era of growth, sustainability, and structure. The greatest resource we have in this work is our commitment to The Monarch Way. There is a culture that permeates this organization from coaches and staff to parents and players. It is a culture that values selflessness, attention to detail, positive feedback, and constructive criticism. It is a culture that places development of each individual child above all else, and recognizes there’s no such thing as one size fits all – in sports or in life. And it’s a culture of belief: belief that kids can rise to challenges; belief that caring adults can make a difference; belief that any child, given the opportunities and the resources, can achieve greatness.
I don’t have to tell you how far this belief has taken us already. The Monarchs record on and off the field speaks for itself. As we enter a new phase of growth, though, I hope you’ll take some time to reacquaint yourself with the Anderson Monarchs and learn about why the work we do is more relevant than ever. I’m excited to share our first monthly newsletter, appropriately titled The Monarch Way. We’re going to use this opportunity to shine a light on all the pieces that make this program unique. Each month we’ll introduce you to an amazing young person in Meet A Monarch; we’ll share some Program Highlights both on and off the field; we’ll Focus on Leadership by interviewing a coach, parent, volunteer or board member; we’ll use our Alumni Spotlight to keep you informed on where Monarchs go once their Anderson playing days are over; and we’ll demonstrate our Values in Action with our favorite video of the month.
So, welcome to the team! We’re proud to share our work with you, and we’re proud to continue building and strengthening the Monarch Way.
Amos Huron Executive Director Philadelphia Youth Organization/Anderson Monarchs