This week I was lucky enough to interview Steve Liberati, founder of Steve's Club and the creator of Paleokits. Steve's Club has grown to become a valuable asset in many communities. He has become an ambassador for change while helping at-risk youth. With so many of our children suffering from low self-esteem, obesity, and many other health issues, Steve has given us a way to be a part of improving the wellbeing of our youth. Steve has even extended a special offer for Balanced Bites readers – find it at the end of the post! – Charissa
1. For our readers who are not familiar with Steve's Club can you give a brief overview of the program?
Steve’s Club National Program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that brings fitness, nutritional guidance, and mentorship to at-risk youth. We have Local Steve’s Club chapters working with kids and teens in various cities across the country. Our Mission: “Steve’s Club and its participating members provide a national network of programs through which at-risk or underserved youth of any socioeconomic background can join in the CrossFit Community at a reduced, low or no cost structure.”
2. Steve's Club is growing, which is amazing! Can you tell us about your new locations and how that growth came about?
We have over 10 Local Clubs and get a receive new inquiries each week. Typically a Local Club will partner with an existing gym or CrossFit Affiliate to run classes after school for at-risk kids.
Here is the list of our most active Clubs:
- Firebreathers In Training (F.I.T.) Club, Folsom CA (for girls)
- Kings County Kids Club, Brooklyn NY
- Kelly’s Champions, Houston TX
- Steve’s Club Battle Ready, Denver CO
- Steve’s Club King of Prussia, Bridgeport PA
- Steve’s Club NYC, New York NY
- Steve’s Club of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach FL
- Steve’s Club Nashville, Nashville TN
- Steve’s Club Camden, Pennsauken NJ (The original Steve’s Club)
The growth has been a result of committed leaders in their communities who have started Local Steve's Clubs in their area. Being part of the Steve's Club National Program allows them to focus on training kids, share best practices with other Clubs, and take advantage of the administrative support provided by the National ProgramNone of this would be possible without the support of our donors and our primary source of funding – Steve's PaleoGoods. The first PaleoKit was actually created in Steve's kitchen for the kids of Steve's Club, as a healthier alternative to school lunches. Now they're sold online and in CrossFit Affiliates everywhere, and continue to fund the mission of training at-risk youth.
3. Whenever we set out to help others in someway or another it seems they help us as well. What has been the biggest lesson you have learned so far from the Steve's Club athletes?
The biggest lesson I have learned from Steve's Club athletes is the amount of effort you put into something is usually commensurate with the result. We have some kids who come once or twice a week but never fully commit themselves to the program. It is the kids who show up on a daily basis the get the most out of the program and who we witness achieve the biggest changes and improvement in their lives – whether it be physical, academic, behavioral or overall happiness and well being.
4. Do you envision a Steve's Club in every major city?
Yes, that would be a great milestone for Steve's Club National Program to reach someday. I have seen firsthand the positive effects a Steve's Club can have on kids and I know for certain the concept can benefit many more kids in other cities across the country.
5. How can our readers help to support Steve's Club?
If you believe in our mission, and would like to support our efforts:
- Continue to enjoy PaleoKits and our other PaleoGoods!
- Volunteer with (or start) a Local Club in your area.
- Spread the word about Steve’s Club National Program.
- Donate on our website anytime ($25 sponsors an athlete for 1 month).