Dawn Staley to Receive the 2016 Healthy Learners Champion for Children Award

Posted on November 11th, 2016

staley_retouched-2016Healthy Learners announced Dawn Staley, University of South Carolina Head Women’s Basketball Coach, as the 2016 Healthy Learners Champion for Children award recipient.
The presentation of the award will take place on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the USC Women’s Basketball Game vs Alabama.

“The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor an individual who is an advocate for children and brings attention to their needs. Our Champion for Children devotes their time and talents to the community through their volunteer time, financial support and commitment to Healthy Learners,” said Jo Pauling-Jones, Executive Director of Healthy Learners. In an effort to continue to provide health care services for children, Healthy Learners partners with schools and community health care providers to not only provide access to health care services, but also to provide transportation to medical appointments.

“I am honored and humbled to be named the 2016 Healthy Learners Champion for Children. As a leader in our community it is important to collaborate with organizations that are committed to changing the lives of children. When I founded INNERSOLE, Healthy Learners was our first community partner and it is a perfect example of impacting change in our children. I look forward to continuing to do great things together in our community.”

Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and one of the most decorated participants in United States women’s basketball history, has led the Gamecocks to five straight 25-win seasons, which include three SEC regular-season championships (2014, 2015, 2016), two SEC Tournament titles (2015, 2016), an NCAA Final Four appearance (2015) and three other Sweet 16 seasons (2012, 2014, 2016), the program’s first ever No. 1 national ranking and a school-record 34 wins in 2014-15.

Today Staley continues to exemplify leadership not only through individual appearances and in encouraging her teams to pursue community services opportunities, but also through co-founding INNERSOLE. She craved one hallmark initiative that could provide sustained assistance and create lasting change for children. In July 2013, Staley found that initiative in the creation of INNERSOLE, which aims to provide new sneakers to children who are homeless and children who are in need. Remembering the feeling of confidence and pride she felt as a child whenever she wore new sneakers, Staley initially launched the organization via social media, and her broad network of friends, fans and colleagues immediately leapt into action. Shoes poured in from all around the country, and a movement was born.

Click here to view a list of past award recipients.