Face of Today has helped introduce HEROS to new experiences and activities for almost a decade. The experiences Face of Today is able to offer our players helps them tap into things that ignite their passion and builds on the confidence developed during on ice activities.
Face of Today has been supporting youth since 2009 using various tools like music, sports and outdoor activities to create opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow. It’s aim is to turn dreams into reality by supporting the educational and professional development of youth. Since its inception Face of Today’s goals have evolved to end the social stigmas surrounding mental illness. Founder and President Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf believes “everyone deserves an equal opportunity to strive for their highest potential and work towards accomplishing their dreams.”
For the past five summers, in recognition of making positive impacts in their community, HEROS from BC have attended the 3-day Face of Today Wakeboard Camp where they spend over 12-hours on the water receiving world-class instruction in a variety of aquatic sports like wakeboarding, paddle boarding, water skiing and whatever they would like to try. The life long memories our HEROS develop are inspiring, Kasondra recalling one HERO calling home to his mother to tell her he was “touching the water,” an experience some may take for granted but may be the first time for some of our boys and girls. Our HEROS have also spent time in the Face of Today’s Vault Recording Studio in Vancouver under the guidance of a professional music producer. Here they can “bring out their inner rock star,” and the reactions from participants make it all the more rewarding, “I can’t believe that I get to be here for free and make my music. We don’t have the resources or money for this and nobody cares or notices, and when you provide it our life changes. This is the best day of my life.”
The well-being of youth is the focus of Face of Today and HEROS forming a natural partnership between the organizations. Kasondra recognizes how hockey can act as a medium for promoting mental health with youth, “I believe there is a whole piece around mental well-being and how hockey fits into that, people express how much they love the game and how it fills them up, they can escape a reality for a period of time to just do what they love.” The benefits are clear to Kasondra who sees first-hand the enhanced confidence of HEROS participants, “You can see in our Wakeboard camp the skills they bring from hockey, like leadership skills and the confidence they’ve built.”
If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. This adage perfectly describes the partnership between Face of Today and HEROS. Whether it’s catching a wave or mixing some music we are grateful for the opportunities that Face of Today offers our HEROS. The partnership between our two programs provides each of us strength to create a lasting positive effect on youth in our community. When asked about the future Kasondra says she is “excited for what the future may hold for both Face of Today and HEROS.”