Letter from Ben Lee

Dr. Elish-Piper,

Thank you so much for enabling and supporting my second trip to Belize this Spring! Your support for Engage Global program’s like this helped us put on the first ever Women’s Sports Summit in Belize! The BAE (Belizeans Advocating for Equity) Sports Summit really helped me grow as a confident leader. As you know, last year’s trip really impacted my life. However, I would say that this year was even more impactful and cemented a place for Belize in my heart. Dr. Jacobs put me in a leadership role this year, as I was in charge of organizing and running introductory sport clinics for local girls from Belize City. This position really pushed me to delegate tasks while putting my station leaders in the best position possible to impact young girls through sport.

Your support for our trip also fostered a lot of deep conversation about gender inequities in Belize related to sport. A lot of Belizean stakeholders and grassroots organizers were fired up to implement their action plans for change in their local communities after the summit. In fact, about 15 summit attendees started a group chat on WhatsApp to start drafting changes in social policy that would give women and girls more opportunities to grow and develop leadership skills through sport.

I could go on and on about how impactful this trip was for me, my teammates, and the many Belizeans that we interacted with 😊. Thanks for all your support, and I hope you stay safe and healthy during this time!

Best,

Ben Lee

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