Zach Thornton's 'Smart Guy' Movement
CARSON, Calif (Thursday, January 27, 2011) - For goalkeeper Zach Thornton, it was an eventful off-season. Besides all the normal off-season things like rest and spending time with family, Thornton took the time to do something bigger; something, which he hopes will make a positive impact in the community for years to come.
Thornton has always been involved in community initiatives and youth development, but this off-season he took his endeavors a step further. While home with his family he began the groundwork on his newest and biggest venture - the 'Smart Guy' Movement.
After a recent Chivas USA practice, Thornton spoke passionately with cdchivasusa.com about his new 'movement'.
"It's basically something to give kids a game-plan on how to be successful," he said. "The main platforms are health, education and athletics. It's something I'm really excited to be a part of."
According to Thornton’s blog "A Smart Guy sets goals for himself, asks for help when needed, surrounds himself with others who want success, considers how his choices will effect his goals, and believes that he can."
The 'movement', which is trying to make in impact in the lives of urban and at-risk kids, was born out of a meeting with Thornton's long-time friend J.T. Dorsey last December. Thornton, who is involved as an ambassador in Dorsey's JT Dorsey Foundation, was inspired by his friend's work, and wanted to lend his name to help their initiatives grow.
"My good friend, J.T. Dorsey does a lot of similar work with his J.T. Foundation," said Thornton. "We sat down one day and tried to put something together. I felt that my name, through sports, could bring even more attention to our cause."
The 'Smart Guy' Movement had its first workshop at the Buehrle Alternative School in Lancaster Pennsylvania earlier this month. Thornton spoke to a group of kids who had transferred from other schools in the area. The kids listened intently as the MLS star described his past successes and failures, and detailed what being a 'Smart Guy' is all about. All of the 80 or so kids present made the pledge to be a 'Smart Guy' and wrote inspiring messages about how being a 'Smart Guy' could inspire positive change in their lives.
According to Thornton's blog, "one student made the commitment to 'be the first one to finish high school in his family' another student promised to 'show his brother and sister a better life' and yet another vowed to 'come to school everyday in order to be a 'Smart Guy.'"
Thornton said the workshop went very well, and he's looking forward to holding similar ones in the future. The movement is still growing, and has many exciting developments planned for it's future, but it's great to see how much of a positive effect it's already having in communities.
To read more about the 'Smart Guy' Movement and Zach's commitment to a better future for at-risk kids, check out his blog at zachthorntonsmartguy.blogspot.com. On the blog you can find out how to get involved with the movement yourself and also purchase merchandise to show your support. You can follow the movement on twitter and facebook, as well as the official blog.