March Game Changer of the Month – Valencia “Coach V” Peterson

We are excited to celebrate Valencia Peterson as our Game Changer of the Month! Known as “Coach V” to many, Valencia Peterson is the Founder and Executive Director of Open-Door Abuse Awareness Prevention (ODAAP), a nonprofit organization that endeavors to prevent all facets of violence and abuse in and with our youth through a trauma-informed lens and the medium of sports.

As a member of The Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative, our featured Partner of the Month, Coach V represents a shining example of the exceptional leaders who make up this collective partnership and the far-reaching work.

Since 2014, Coach V has worked to educate and build the character of young men through athletics. As someone impacted by domestic violence herself, she has dedicated her life to preventing the cycle of trauma through her love-based approach, which includes changing social norms by challenging the attitudes and behaviors of bystanders and building generations of impactful leaders and positive role models that help create a movement of violence prevention recognizing that relationships are built on genuine concern and consistency.

Partnering with organizations, ODAAP has contributed to prolific programs and educational curriculum that include:

Coaching Boys Into Men Toolkit, training for coaches to provide a curriculum for male athletes to build character.

Roll Red Roll Toolkit is a resource that prepares coaches, administrators, and counselors to discuss sexual assault prevention simply and clearly with student-athletes.

Through her unique approach to violence prevention, Coach V has been the keynote speaker at conferences and workshops, such as the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, USA Olympic Swimming Coaches, and California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She is also scheduled in April for her first TED talk.

And while her impact has been prolific, she maintains a singular focus on her athletes. In her words, “I am convinced that with so much intervention needed, prevention is our only hope. It starts with our youth. My young men will tell you my motto is that if one of you becomes a good father, husband, or man of integrity, it’s all worth it.”

Coach V provides a unique insight into her organization’s mission, how equity challenges affect access to violence prevention efforts through sports, and how she is working to overcome these barriers by recently coming together with other local leaders and organizations in The Collaborative.

Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Corps are joining forces to become a powerhouse organization dedicated to optimizing the positive impact of youth coaches on kids. Because when every child has access to a game-changing coach trained in youth development, s/he is able to gain life skills through sport, build healthy habits, and become beacons for positive change in their communities.

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