West MS team wins first in ASPIRE tournament

DOWNEY – The city of Downey’s ASPIRE after-school program recently competed in the 6th Annual Teen Adventure Challenge held at the Hansen Dam in Los Angeles. Ninety-three teams from the surrounding Los Angeles area competed in a designed wilderness course that presents obstacles that are both physical and mental.  Some of the challenges included kayaking, mountain biking, and rock wall climbing.

This was the fourth year ASPIRE sent teams composed of students from Griffiths, Sussman and West middle schools to compete. The teams included one ASPIRE leader and four students from the after-school program, with each school sending two teams.

The event kicked off with many pre-race activities including an appearance from Eli Quintana, formerly of the original Harlem Globetrotters. When the event started the six ASPIRE teams raced against 15 other middle school for the grand prize of $200 and a matching donation to their charity of choice.

Prior to the awards being given out, Sussman ASPIRE cheer put on a performance in front of all those in attendance. It was a dance routine they had been practicing for months while in the program.

In the end, ASPIRE brought home first place for the fourth consecutive year with a team from West middle school. The team guided by ASPIRE leader Xochilt Gutierrez included Isabel Rodriguez, Jeffery Morales, Alex Gomez, and Nathaniel Contreras finished with a time of 1-hour and seven minutes.

Sussman middle school also had a good showing as one of their teams was presented with the Spirit award. This award went to the team that showed the most camaraderie, enabling them to cooperate and work well together.

The event was hosted by the ARC after school program and CORE educational services as a way to promote an active and healthy lifestyle along with encouraging youth to explore new opportunities.



Published: May 1, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 03