SCORE's activity-based mentoring uses athletic adventures to bring together a group of people with varying degrees of ability, age and acceptance of their condition.
The drastic changes that occur when someone incurs a spinal cord injury can easily leave that person with a range of feelings from bewilderment to anger or depression. Activities that once were so easily accomplished and enjoyed may no longer be possible, or only possible with substantial alteration and accommodation that dilutes the essence of the activity.
The challenges associated with adapting to life with a spinal cord injury are substantial. So substantial, in fact, that 63% of people with paralysis are still not employed 8 years post-injury. The human and economic costs underlying this statistic are enormous. The SCORE team believes that these costs can be reduced through activity-based mentoring.
The goals of this program are three-fold:
1. Provide physical, mental and emotional challenges to people living with disabilities, in a safe and encouraging environment. The intent is to foster confidence and enthusiasm among disabled participants by providing an opportunity to safely engage in a physical activity. Whether it is kayaking, skiing, tennis, fencing or any of the other dozens of activities available to the disabled community, our goal is to assist the participant with breaking through their perceived physical limitations to find a new sense of accomplishment and inspiration.
2. Create a forum for the relatively recently injured (less than two years) to interact with those who have been living with an injury for some time. Whether it is sharing tips on coping with daily life issues, or providing an inspiring role model, we believe it is important to expose the newly injured to those who have adapted to their new reality, and are pursuing successful and fulfilling lives.
3. Provide an opportunity for able-bodied members of the community to interact with those living with disabilities. Far too many people rarely have meaningful contact with a spinal cord injured person. Our activities offer the occasion to learn about the challenges and triumphs of those living with SCI.
SCORE's activity-based mentoring program is available free of charge to participants and volunteers. We use funds raised throughout the year to offset any expenses.
SCORE has teamed up with UCLA's Recreational Activities department, and thus is able to use certain UCLA resources, including its Marine Aquatic Center in Marina del Rey. SCORE has also developed a relationship with the Outdoor Adventures program of Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation - this allows us to offer more elaborate activities such as camping or skiing.