Building an organization from scratch is hard. Trying to do it in your preteen years without any resources can seem nearly impossible.
Not to Sam Eaker and Tori Stuart.
The two grew up going to sports camps together. Three years ago, when they were 12, they had an idea that would change the lives of many kids near their hometown of Fenton, Missouri. They wanted to create a volleyball camp just for children with special needs.
Victory Volleyball was born the following summer, in 2014. A local television station picked up their story and spread the word throughout the St. Louis area. Now Sam and Tori have a partnership with TASK (Team Activities for Special Kids), and they recruit volunteer coaches. Admission is free thanks to donations and grants the girls have secured.
"I think camps like this are needed, because everybody should be treated equally," says Tori. "Most camps don't have the volunteers or the workers who are willing or able to help kids with special needs."
Sam and Tori are excited about the future of Victory Volleyball and have some advice for other ambitious kids out there. "No matter what your abilities are, you should just go for whatever you want to do," says Tori. "I think they should follow their dreams just like we did, and they can accomplish anything they want to."
Photos: David E. Klutho