Sergio Ruiz knows some of the most elite training techniques in the world and draws upon this knowledge to formulate the routine for every REACTT Boot Camp. Standing for Rejuvenate, Empower Adults and Children Through Training, REACTT's high-intensity 45-minute workouts incorporate a variety of exercises in their ever-changing program for students of all fitness levels. Students heft kettlebells or whip around massive battle ropes to burn calories and build the kind of muscle capable of hurling meteors back into space.
A Peabody- and Emmy-winning program, Students Rising Above (SRA) was founded by a local news anchor and a community-relations manager as a scholarship program for students who are the first in their families to attend college but lack the financial resources to support their educations. Many of these students face tremendous challenges such as homelessness and neglect but realize their potential and succeed academically, earning the grades necessary to qualify for further education.
SRA selects its program participants during their junior year of high school and works with them through college graduation, helping through guidance and support to foster a 90% graduation rate after four-and-a-half years. Since its inception, the program’s services have grown to include medical care, summer internships, precollege readiness support, and care packages with technology and dorm-room essentials, as well as intangible support in the form of a network of trusted adults and peers. SRA students have attended more than 70 colleges across the country, including Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Davis.
When the climbers of Planet Granite say that community anchors everything they do, they have a history of outreach to back it up. After Castle Rock State Park appeared on California?s closure list, Planet Granite?s team quickly organized a fundraiser to save the sanctuary. They pledged $10,000 in matching funds, threw an auction, scheduled guest speakers, and obtained support from companies such as REI. In one night, they raised $20,725.
This kind of response has typified Planet Granite?s team since opening its first facility in 1994. One of the first climbing gyms in the country, Planet Granite has expanded to three gyms in Belmont, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. The diverse array of climbing resources at each location led Popsugar to name the gym conglomerate one of the top five in San Francisco in 2011. At the Sunnyvale location, members scale 25,000 square feet of climbable surfaces that ascend from low bouldering terrains to 60-foot walls.
In keeping with their commitment to community, the staff tailors instruction and climbing routes to every ability level and affinity for hand sweatiness. They also supervise each gyms? fully equipped fitness centers, ranging from CrossFit to yoga, which provides a peaceful counterbalance to the full-body workout of rock climbing.
After one look at the pristine pools packed with toys, and it?s no surprise why La Petite Baleen?s four San Francisco?area swim facilities are so popular with kids. What may be surprising, however, is that the flourishing network of schools started humbly in the backyard pool of John Kolbisen and Irene Madrid.
In 1979, the public school teachers were brainstorming ways to integrate their passion for educating kids with their love of the water. Starting with their own three children, some neighborhood kids, and their logo?Waverly the Whale, John and Irene began teaching swim lessons with a rather progressive philosophy: They approached swimming not just as an extracurricular activity, but as a means to boost self-confidence, build friendships, and learn to overcome fears.
More than 30 years later, La Petite Baleen has become a renowned family of schools, partnered with the U.S. Swim School Association and the Swim for Life Foundation. Part of the success has to do with how children are grouped. In weekly sessions, pods of tots of similar age, skill level, and personality evolve at a similar pace?earning individual achievement ribbons as they do. Kids make friends in the group, and the recurring scheduling means that they can stay enrolled with their new buddies indefinitely or until they grow their own dorsal fins. Each location?s indoor pools are kept at an inviting 90 degrees, in an attempt to make even the most timid student to feel comfortable in the water. Perhaps most importantly, the teachers participate in ongoing training designed to encourage empathetic, yet firm teaching methods.