Mitchell Alandt is 16 years old, a student at Serra High School and headed for the Junior Olympics. It’s a busy schedule, but he’s added one more thing to it … helping domestic violence survivors at CORA!
Mitchell has committed to donating for every block he makes on his way to the Junior Olympics and is raising funds from supportive friends and family.
We spoke with Mitchell about his passion, both for water polo and for helping those experiencing abuse.
In one paragraph, how would you sum up all that is Mitchell?
I am a student athlete at Serra High School. Serra offers rigorous college preparatory classes and, in my sophomore year, I was challenged with four honor classes and, next year as a junior, I am looking forward to AP classes to stretch myself further. I love being part of a community that wants us to succeed at our highest potential in both areas – academics and athletics. Athletically, Serra competes in one of the most competitive high school leagues in California. Last year I was able to maintain straight A’s as well as being named the MVP of the Junior Varsity Water Polo Team. I am very proud of both of these accomplishments. However, what I am most proud of are the friendships I have made at Serra.
How did you first get into water polo?
My dad is a swimmer and he wanted me to try to join a swim team before I started high school. I had no interest in swimming but I did like playing basketball since the fourth grade. He thought water polo might be something that I might like because it sort of combined swimming with a ball. I joined the Golden State Water Polo team in San Mateo when I was 14 and have been hooked ever since.
What’s some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from playing?
I have learned that by being part of a team you always have to work together to achieve a common goal. You have to be dedicated and give your all during practice and at a game. It is something you do not only for your coach but your teammates. You do your best and try to learn new ways of doing things to improve your performance. It will not only make you a better player but inspire others. This is what me and my teammates do for each other.
What’s it like knowing you’re headed to the Junior Olympics?
Making it to the competition wasn’t easy. We lost our first qualifying game to a very tough team from the East Bay. After that loss we became more focused and kept winning until we heard last Sunday that we made it into the 2016 Water Polo Junior Olympics which will be held in Northern California. I am very excited to compete at this level and to experience the play from other teams across the USA! My team has a few more tournaments so we can practice our skills before we head to the national competition.
Why did you decide to support CORA and domestic violence survivors with your fundraising?
When I was younger, my mom started a foundation called GKay Angels. She started it to honor her grandmother, Kay, who she adored and was a victim of domestic violence. She would collect gently used clothing as well as new PJ’s and health care products and deliver them to CORA. I remember helping my mom sort things that were donated and put them into gift bags. My mom hasn’t had any time to focus on Gkay Angels recently since she;s either working or driving me to practice, games or tournaments. I thought this would be a good way to help CORA and have my mom know that even though we aren’t collecting items for abuse survivors as much as she would like, I am earning money for a cause that she is passionate about. By donating money for every goal I make, it helps me reach my goal of always trying to do better.
What would you say to other people who are thinking of donating to help abuse survivors?
You might think that domestic abuse in this area is rare, however it is not. It could be a neighbor, a friend’s mother or grandmother …. CORA helps find a safe haven for survivors to thrive and be safe. There are many way to help this cause.
Is there a quote that really inspires you?
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan
Turn Your Passion into Support
What’s your passion? Run, ride, walk, dance, bake, knit, volunteer ….?
No matter what it is, you can use it to help those escaping domestic violence.
With EverydayHero you can turn your personal passion into making a difference in your community.
Support CORA’s work to end domestic violence with your next adventure. Anything from a marathon to a bake sale can make a difference.
Sign up with EverydayHero, choose “CORA COMMUNITY OVERCOMING RELATIONSHIP ABUSE” as your charity and start transforming lives!