Play Like a Girl presents ‘Potential Realized: A Mission with Impact’

Happy New Year -- 2020!

Turning the page on the past decade coincides with a page turning for Play Like a Girl. To kick off 2020, we are celebrating and telling the stories of girls from our programs, introducing a new(ish) website and expanding our partnerships and programming.

Having recently celebrated 15 years since our founding, we know what each new year represents. This year, in particular, is the culmination of a lot of hard work, strategic decisions and deep commitments. Our 2020 campaign is the result of months spent working to articulate what Play Like a Girl is all about, where we want to go and how we can best serve our girls into the future.

We are determined to focus on our mission and keep the girls we serve at the forefront of everything we do. How? We have laid out our vision for 2020 in two simple yet powerful words: Potential Realized.

For every project we take on — whether it’s summer camp, our annual conference, industry field trips and behind-the-scenes tours, lunchtime mentoring at local schools or social media campaigns — we do it all to help our girls recognize and reach their limitless potential.

Our evolved brand and strategic direction represent this vision. That’s why we decided to focus on the stories of phenomenal young women with “Potential Realized: A Mission with Impact” to kick off the new year. The new campaign conveys the idea of growth, of real progress. Our new website is designed to be a welcoming, informative space. A place for you to learn more about our team, our work and how exactly we’re making good on our promise to champion equality and economic opportunity for all girls. We hope you return often for insights and information. 

Our founder and CEO Dr. Kim and her assistant Hannah pored through applications from past program participants to pick five young women who deserve the spotlight. The resulting profiles tell the stories of young women who have themselves evolved since joining their very first Play Like a Girl program or event.

These young women are middle school students who love sports, young women who fail as often as they succeed because they’ve learned to view failure as necessary. These are stories of young women who are changing the game on and off the field of play. These are young women with crazy dreams about their futures in this big, bold world and crazier beliefs about their abilities to change that big, bold world. These young women are shaping their communities and, in their own way, altering life for every girl everywhere. Theirs are stories which deserve to be told.

Meet all of our Potential Realized honorees--our 2020 student ambassadors. And share their profiles on Twitter with the hashtag #PotentialRealized.

Follow #PotentialRealized on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 


Tennis Star Madison Keys to Keynote Play Like a Girl Honors

The Play Like a Girl Honors celebrates the contributions of leading women and men in sports and the girls they inspire. And who better to help us do that than Madison Keys, one of the most talented and brightest young stars in the tennis world? Keys will be our keynote speaker for the Honors Gala as well as the recipient of our prestigious Founder’s Award.

It Doesn’t Matter How You Get in the Game

What matters is that you play. Keys has shared that while she became interested in tennis at a young age, the reason why might surprise you.  When she was four years old as she watched Wimbledon on television, Keys fell in love with Venus Williams’ dress and asked her parents for one like it. They offered to get her one, if she started playing tennis. Did she ever take them up on the challenge!

Keys began taking lessons regularly at age seven, began competing in tournaments at age nine and moved to Florida at age 10 with her mom and younger sisters to train at the Evert Tennis Academy founded by John Evert. Keys went professional in 2009 on her 14th birthday and went on to defeat Serena Williams 5-1 in a World Team Tennis Match that same year!

After winning the Australian Open in 2015 at age 19 she became the world’s highest ranked teenager. Then in 2016, she became the first American to enter the top 10 women’s rankings since Serena Williams held the spot in 1999. By 2017, Keys was a U.S. Open finalist.

Leveling the Playing Field On and Off the Court

Keys is a big proponent of our mission to level the playing field for girls. She herself was inspired early on by the efforts of the Williams sisters to bridge the prize money gap between men and women in tennis.

In a Refinery 29 article Keys discusses her views regarding gender inequality in sports, “As a whole and across the board, we have to get better, because it’s very obvious that [women] aren’t [treated] equal. Having a platform means that I won’t just sit back and say everything’s okay. I think the biggest thing is addressing [inequality]—not telling [professional athletes] to ignore the issue.”

One Fearless Mission

Keys is making good on that promise to use her platform by teaming up with FearlesslyGirl , an internationally recognized anti-bullying organization dedicated to creating a kinder girl world in schools and communities across North America.

She has spoken about how she herself struggled to belong in high school particularly since she spent so much time on the road with tennis. And still today Keys experiences online bullying, but says since learning how her responses to those negative comments have inspired girls to also speak out she is going to dedicate herself to bringing about change.

Also fueled by her desire to be a good role model for her two younger sisters, Keys hopes FearlesslyGirl “will give me a very unique opportunity to inspire, help, encourage and be a big sister to a whole generation of girls,” she says in a Forbes article on her work with the organization.

Keys to Success

What advice would Keys give our girls as they take their shot? In a TennisMood article she shares these tips:

  • “For me every day is a new day and a new challenge. Past doesn’t really matter.”
  • “I don’t really focus on other people’s expectations. I only care what my own expectations are.”
  • “If you want to grow up and be successful, two things you don’t want to leave home without are hard work and dedication.”
  • “Find your motivation—and follow it. I try to stay motivated by always thinking this is what’s going to make me better.”

Join the Party

The Play Like a Girl Honors Gala raises awareness and funds to support our programs for girls in Nashville and across the country. This year’s star-studded event featuring Madison Keys will take place Monday, November 26 at Marriott Hotel Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. The event will feature a cocktail hour with cash bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, live music, red carpet and more.

Get your ticket today! 

Follow the event on Facebook for updates and other information.


Improving Health through Sport

Did you know that today’s children may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents? They are actually expected to live five years less due to physical inactivity.

For girls specifically:

  • By age 10, girls are less physically active.
  • Over one-fourth of girls ages nine to 13 report no free-time physical activity, classifying themselves as sedentary outside of school.
  • They drop out of sport at nearly twice the age of boys by age 14.
  • Over half of girls quit sports altogether by age 17, making this the least physically active generation ever.

Why? Nearly seven out of 10 girls do not feel encouraged to play.

Play Like a Girl calls foul on this trend, making it our mission to ensure every girl reaches her full potential. We’re leveling the playing field because improving health through sport gives girls a passion for active living and… Click To Tweet

Our Girls in Action

Play Like a Girl provides a supportive sisterhood of coaches, teammates and role models to improve the health of girls’ through sport while at the same time building confidence and leadership skills. We’re honored to share just some of the stories of how sport and physical activity are preparing our girls to become unstoppable women.

Lydia, age 8
Lydia attended the Play Like a Girl Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators and her sister participated in a previous softball camp.

Both the girls loved the camps says mom Melissa, “Play Like a Girl encourages my daughters to step outside their comfort zone. Sports can change girls’ lives.”

Imisi, age 8
Imisi enjoyed attending the Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators learning, “You may fall, but with practice, you will get somewhere.”

When asked about the benefits of Play Like a Girl, Iyanu, Imisi’s brother says, “It’s good because girls get to play sports they may not usually get to play.”

Trinity, age 10
Trinity attended both the Play Like a Girl Softball Skills Clinic with the Nashville Sounds and Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators because “[she] wanted to try something new and meet new people.”

Mom Deloria was excited by Trinity’s interest. Deloria believes strongly that “girls are not given the same opportunities in sports as males despite their talent and skill. I hope her [Trinity's] Play Like a Girl experience will encourage her to continue sports and take the lessons she learns here and teach others.”

Jackie, age 11
Jackie and her family drove over an hour so she could attend the Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators.

Mom Robin wanted Jackie to give it a try because she says, “Play Like a Girl provides the opportunity to connect and have fun with other girls while trying new things.”

Alana, age 10
Alana first attended the Play Like a Girl Softball Skills Clinic with the Nashville Sounds and “Because I had so much fun I wanted to come to the Nashville Predators Women’s Panel next,” she says.

Alana’s mom, Miatta, states, “I love that Play Like a Girl encourages healthy habits and exposes my daughter to sports. We had so much fun at the first camp; we decided to bring a friend to this one.”

Ella, age 13
Ella has attended the Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators as well as Play Like a Girl Camp with Google & Gatorade. She says the camps, “Teach girls that “playing like a girl” is a good thing.”

Her mother, Tamara, echoes that sentiment, “Play Like a Girl reinforces the importance of activity and sport for girls. It opens their eyes to new possibilities.”

Make your move today; find a Play Like a Girl Sports Club or STEM Camp! Or, to Get Involved by partnering, fundraising, volunteering or donating.


Inspiring Confidence through Sport

Girls today are up against some tough opponents—access, exposure, self-perception— trying to keep them sidelined, in sport and in life. Luckily we have the playbook to change that and it all starts with inspiring confidence.

The Facts

  • Ongoing participation in sports and physical activity is a high contributor to confidence in girls, and provides valuable skills to help them stay confident.
  • The strong connections made through sport help girls discover positive ways to combat emotional pressures, which helps them to develop a stronger sense of confidence and broader range of social skills that reduce their likelihood of smoking, becoming pregnant at an early age or using drugs.
  • The extra confidence, support of a team and work ethic earned while participating in sports positions young women to be more appealing candidates with more opportunities to succeed, earning nearly 10% more income than their inactive peers.

Our Girls in Action

Play Like a Girl builds a supportive sisterhood of coaches, teammates and role models to build our girls’ confidence on and off the field of play. There’s nothing like witnessing a girl find that spark of confidence for the first time, and we’re honored to share just some of the stories of how sport and physical activity are changing girls’ lives across the country.

Trinity, age 10

Trinity and her family drove three hours to attend Play Like a Girl's Softball Skills Clinic with the Nashville Sounds and Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators.

When asked about the benefits of Play Like a Girl, Deloria, Trinity’s mother, states, “I believe it helps with character development and confidence building. Girls are often overlooked in sports. They are not given the same opportunities as boys despite their talent and skill. I want her [Trinity] to take the lessons she learns here and teach others. As a young woman, I want her to be able to empower other girls.”

Trinity plans to do just that, “I’m thinking about becoming a doctor.” And she’s thankful Play Like a Girl gives her the opportunity to try new sports “like rugby,” which helps her develop the grit and teamwork she needs in and out of the game.

Ella, age 13

Ella attended Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators and has previously attended Play Like a Girl's Game Changers Camp with Google & Gatorade. She loves the camps: “They help teach girls that 'playing like a girl' is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

Ella's mother, Tamara, agrees, “Play Like a Girl provides the girls new experiences and exposure. It opens their eyes to new possibilities in all areas—especially careers in STEM and sports.” Click To Tweet

When asked about her future, Ella says “I want to have my own business and it’s important to have confidence to be able to do that.”

Lydia, age 8

Lydia attended the Play Like a Girl Camp on Ice with the Nashville Predators and her sister has previously participated in a softball camp.

They both loved the experience and their mom, Melissa, states, “Play Like a Girl encourages my daughters to step outside their comfort zone. Long term, I hope they never feel alone and embarrassed to be strong. I grew up being the only girl in some sports and even college classes, but it never bothered me because my parents raised me to be confident mentally and physically.”

These are just a few stories about how play is impacting the girls we serve at Play Like a Girl.

If you want to level the playing field for your girl, find a Sports Club or STEM Camp today! Or, Get Involved in our mission by partnering, fundraising, volunteering or donating.


Play Like a Girl Hits the Ice

Play Like a Girl Camp strikes again! This time, our super exciting sports destination was the Ford Ice Center, where we had a seriously chilly and extremely FUN afternoon of ice skating.

We started the day off with an inspiring career panel — seriously, girls, the discussion was filled with major info — where we had a chance to meet six amazing women behind our favorite hockey team, the Nashville Predators, before being treated to our own little pizza party. They do EVERYthing for Smashville. In fact, Rebecca King, Senior Director of Community Relations, was hugely responsible for us being there.

We learned about a variety of careers from communications and social media to creative services and corporate partnerships. Before hearing from them, we really had no idea that we girls could do all of that in a male sport. I won't lie...we were a little shy! So, Dr. Kim and our parents asked all the interesting questions. But I promise we learned a lot.

When asked about failure, the ladies encouraged us girls to embrace failure as fuel to build our confidence and keep playing, learning and growing--both on and off the rink. A few talked about the challenges they face being women in a male-dominated workspace. "Often, I'm the only woman boarding that plane. The only woman in the locker room. At times this season, I've had to remind myself that I'm there because I'm qualified. I'm there because I'm great at my job, and I happen to be a woman," said Natalie Aronson, Corporate Communications Manager, who highlighted the important and unique qualities that women offer in the workplace as well as the critical role that male advocates play in the advancement of women in the sports industry.

Next, we gathered in teams of 3-4 for a quick STEM lesson and reaction time test. Using a yardstick and help from teammates, we learned about the importance of quick reflexes and response time in the job of the "goalie" on a hockey team. As you may know, the goalie's job is to prevent the opposing team from scoring a point by stopping the hockey puck from entering the net. Goalies need to have the ability to react extraordinarily fast when a hockey puck is whizzing towards them at 90 miles per hour, or they'll come up toothless, lol.

Resting our arms in the air, we held our thumbs and index fingers about an inch apart while a teammate held the yardstick so that its bottom end was between our two fingers. Without warning, the teammate holding the yardstick dropped the yardstick. And we closed our fingers to catch the yardstick as quickly as we could, repeating the activity until everyone had a chance at it. After each rotation, we wrote down the number of inches the yardstick fell before we caught it and calculated the average to see who had the quickest reaction time.

We learned that an average person catches the yardstick at around 6 to 8 inches. This is a reaction time of .177 to .204 seconds. That's pretty fast, right? But to match the reaction time of a professional hockey goalie, who needs to stop a puck traveling at 90 mph from 20 feet away, we would have to catch the yardstick at 4.5 inches! A hockey puck traveling at 152 feet per second will travel 20 feet in .152 seconds. That's about 1/10th of a second. It was a fun activity but we'd better keep practicing with our yardsticks if we ever want to become a goalie!

Finally, we laced up our skates and hit the ice. Some of us literally hit the ice. (Kidding! Or am I? I’ll never tell.) With the plexiglass surrounding the rink, the smell of stinky feet from the ice skates, cheers and flashing lights from cameras on the sidelines and the slick, shining ice, we might as well have been in a game at Bridgestone Arena. Oh, and did I mention that Gnash hit the ice with us too?! It was sooooo much fun!

After making several rounds (and several Boomerangs; we can’t help ourselves!), we removed all the layers and took it straight outdoors to the playground. We also replaced some of those calories we’d torched on the ice — our butts were feeling it from all the falls — with ice cream and slurpies after playing with new friends under the hot sun.

We want to say a huge thank you to our partners at the Nashville Predators and Predators Foundation that make fun camp days like this possible and to Ford Ice Center for hosting us at their magical ice rink! If you want to get in on our next super fun STEM and sports camp in September (Trust us, you do. It’s gonna be goooood.), then make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter here or in the footer of any page on our website.


Beyond Innovation

Over 2.8 million STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs are expected to go unfilled this year alone and those filled won't be filled by women. While women continue to make gains across the broader economy, they remain underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders--just like in sports.

Though numbers are growing, only 27% of all students taking the AP Computer Science exam in the United States are female. The gender gap only grows worse from there: Just 18% of American computer-science college degrees go to women. And that's in the U.S., where many college men proudly self-identify as "male feminists" and girls are taught they can be anything they want to be.

Advancing gender parity in the workplace requires that we start early and design programs to tap into the potential of young women to contribute further in this vital sector. Middle school girls in Nashville are learning STEM lessons through the context of sport thanks to our programs at Play Like a Girl. They also are mentored by professionals whose day-to-day work crosses the lines of STEM and sports.

To do this work, we're continually developing our knowledge and partnerships through experiences like Beyond Innovation 2018 which brought together 200 global leaders from across the sports, tech, nonprofit, education, business, entertainment and development landscape, to create innovative cross-sector partnerships that use the global appeal of sport to advance STEM.

Former NASA astronaut and the first woman of color to go into space, Dr. Mae Jemison reminded us that we all have a responsibility to be beneficial to society as we are all connected and have all the answers we need to solve the world's problems. The renowned physician, engineer, social scientist, entrepreneur and educator suggested that “hands on, hearts on, minds on” is “the best way to teach STEM.” And we agree.


Nashville Sounds for the win

The Nashville Sounds baseball club selected Play Like a Girl as its “Charity of the Game” partner at last night's home game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Sounds fans and Play Like a Girl supporters were able to bid on custom game-worn “A League of Their Own” jerseys through an online, mobile and in-ballpark auction.

The pale pink jerseys, featuring the Sounds wordmark and iconic guitar, were worn to benefit Play Like a Girl, raising $2,200 to support our work locally. Auction winners that were present for the game were invited to the field to meet the player wearing the winning jersey and to get their jersey autographed.

In addition to the jersey auction, Sounds players hosted a softball skills clinic the morning of the May 26 game for girls between the ages of 12-14 to learn from Scrap Yard Dawgs outfielder A.J. Andrews. Andrews is the first woman and professional softball player to ever receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

The day was amazing. Our girls were inspired. And we can now get more girls off the sidelines and into the game, thanks to A.J. and the many MEN responsible for this amazing win.

 

 


Athletes as activists

Play Like a Girl was recently invited to be a part of the United State of Women (USOW) Summit after Dr. Kim's work with the espnW Women + Sports workgroup on athlete activism in 2017. The USOW Summit brought together more than 6,000 women and allies for a program featuring women leaders like former First Lady Michelle Obama, actors and activitists Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi and Jane Fonda.

A number of elite women athletes headlined the event including Swim Cash, Mackenzie Hill, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Leslie Osborne and Gabrielle Reece. Their sessions showcased how they have defined a powerful vision through their trailblazing work breaking down barriers and building bridges in sports.

We believe that activist efforts seek to change the social climate and structures that make volunteerism necessary, yet few people understand their service as an important contribution to larger structural social change. To add to this already empowering summit, a team of Play Like a Girl Board members (including Jenne Blackburn, Nailah Ellis Timberlake, Adrienne Jordan, Corey Meyerson and Kenisha Rhone) traveled to Los Angeles to talk up the power of athlete activism.

Our goal was to help female athletes and laypersons understand the power and necessity of activism in achieving social change, and to reframe volunteerism and service as an effective act of dissent. We partnered with Paralympian Scout Bassett, Yahoo! Sports analyst Liz Loza and Dr. Jen Welter--the first woman coach in the NFL--to share stories of women who have found their voice and used it to support causes they believe in.

Our own Board member and MLB executive Celeste Bell was also a major voice on the panel, highlighting Play Like a Girl programs and sharing how athletes and those passionate about sport can propel our efforts to level the playing field for girls and women in sports.

Video from the Summit is available at facebook.com/theunitedstateofwomen.


5 ways to keep your girls active

Physical activity has multiple, far reaching effects that last into adulthood. For example, the physical training in a typical soccer practice helps reduce a girl's risk for depression while the strength training in that same practice will increase long-term skeletal health.

A commitment to physical activity is an investment in the future. Active girls do better academically, behaviorally and holistically.

Despite these and other known benefits, girls today may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their mothers due to a lack of sport participation and physical activity.

But we can change that.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your girls active:

  1. Host your own play day for your girls and their friends. Playing together with other girls in their own backyard not only gets your girls active, it also helps them navigate relationships and make memories that will last a lifetime.
  2. Sign your girls up for a local Play Like a Girl sports club or athletic team every season of the year. Play basketball in the winter--and softball in the spring. Take swimming in the summer. And run track in the fall.  These are all great ways for girls to sample a variety of sports while being active year-round.
  3. Be your girls' role model with a weekly sweat session of your own. If you're not an athlete who's mastered a particular sport, you can always take a fitness class or simply schedule time for a brisk walk or run in your neighborhood.
  4. Watch a television series like HBO's Being Serena together to introduce your girls to strong, active women of all ages and backgrounds. Change their perspectives about remaining active as they age.
  5. Start early. The first 10 years of life are game-changing. These early years provide a critical window for creating a lifelong commitment to physical activity.

 


Rewriting the rules and making history

Mind over matter

Everything we do at Play Like a Girl is about rewriting the rules and making history in women's sports. This year, we partnered with the Women Sports Film Festival and Belmont University Athletics to host an empowerment summit to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Using the power of film, storytelling and conversations, attendees were inspired by and gained practical skills from women athletes, sports journalists and executives in the sports industry.

The two-day event kicked off with a public screening of the award-winning documentary film Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw. Mind/Game tells the compelling story of basketball phenom Chamique Holdsclaw from her rise to sports stardom to her struggle with mental illness.

Chamique, who demonstrates strength and resilience like a champ, led a post-film panel discussion and Q & A session with our girls following the film. She also shared pivotal moments in her basketball career, highlighting the moment just last week when she received notification of her selection for the 2018 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

More than body parts

On Day 2, we talked about the real impact that sport can have in a young woman's life. Women executives from local sports leagues and teams joined us for a panel discussion on their rise in a male-dominated field and offered tips for finding our places at the table and ensuring that we bring other women along.

Alex Jones, philanthropist and wife of Tennessee Titan Ben Jones shared how she harnesses her passion for sport to do good in the lives of Nashville youth. The expectant mother talked about the importance of young athletes finding a cause that means something to them and getting dirty supporting the people attached to the cause.

Pro softball outfielder A.J. Andrews headlined the conference with an inspirational TED-style talk on body image and confidence, using stunning photos from her ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue photoshoot as a backdrop. In August 2016, A.J. became the first woman to win a Gold Glove. Known for acrobatic catches that she's been honing since her youth, she shared with the girls the importance of a strong sense of and love for self.

A.J. loves looking fabulous. She even wears makeup during games. But she never allows her beauty or love for beautiful things to adversely impact her performance on the field. In fact, she goes all out for the ball, whether it makes her look silly or whether her face gets stuck in the mud and she comes out looking crazy. Instead, she picks herself up, fixes her hair and hits the outfield all over again.

Being very intentional about the content and messaging we conveyed, we planned every detail of this conference to be inspirational as well as aspirational. For example, every session and panel discussion was moderated by Nashville's leading women in sports media: Madison Blevins, Dawn Davenport and Jessica Bliss.

A future in the big leagues

We know that girls need to see themselves in the future. Upon arrival to Belmont's campus, they were greeted with outdoor directional signage reading “This Way to Change the Game,” “This Way to Your Future,” and “This Way to Make Your Play” that immediately set the tone for the summit experience.

An inspiring quote from A.J. also met the girls at check-in where they received their own personalized badge, custom lanyard, a custom #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL button and Sharpie. The badge, also a keepsake, features a soft-touch finish that allowed girls to capture autographs throughout the weekend.

A series of empowering messages and phrases adorned products such as t-shirts and buttons. On-theme buttons with phrases such as “Game Changer” and “Girls Rule the World” were also available at several places throughout the event, providing a fun—and social-media-friendly—keepsake of the day. The girls (and some parents too!) added the buttons to their lanyards, which were also branded with the #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL hashtag.

Several VIP signing and photo ops throughout the summit reinforced the event’s message of confidence and empowerment. Near the entrance, a step-and-repeat with the Play Like a Girl logo and our signature exclamation point featured the #IPLAYLIKEAGIRL hashtag which was used to promote social media sharing. We even designed two custom geofilters to generate Snapchat buzz, letting guests tell people in the surrounding area about the summit while allowing them to share where they were and what they were doing.

The 2018 theme “My Game. My Rules.” was highlighted and our custom button by the same name was distributed throughout the weekend. The girls even took their love of sports to the next level with a 20-minute rockout workout fitness experience with POUND Pro Allie Lamb and her squad. And one of our own team members, Nailah Ellis Timberlake, closed the conference with a powerful charge to the girls, announcing our 2018 “Game On!” campaign.

Celebrating the wins together

The Summit was created to celebrate the stories of women in sports who have paved the way for the next generation of game-changing women, and further our founding belief that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women who have the confidence to stand on their own.

Our goal for this year's conference was to not only amplify the issues by calling out what is and isn't working in sports and society, but also to provide actionable tools for girls’ advancement at school, on the field and in their communities and the world around them.

We wanted the girls in attendance to see themselves in the future, and we succeeded.