For 25 years, Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) has provided a secure and nurturing environment for thousands of young people to grow and develop. Our mission is to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis by helping them discover their identity in Christ and their purpose in the community. We do this through year-round sports and academic enrichment programming. Every program at MAM is rooted in the Gospel, creating a place where young people feel loved, supported, and valued.
As we mark our 25th anniversary, we’re excited to share 25 inspiring stories of the positive impact MAM has had on individuals, including current and former students, parents, coaches, volunteers, donors, and community partners. These stories highlight the incredible ways MAM has impacted countless young people. Autumn, a former youth participant turned coach at MAM, has experienced firsthand the transformative impact of this organization.Autumn’s introduction to MAM occurred during her fifth-grade year when her mother discovered MAM Summer Academy, a low-cost summer program. Little did she know that this program would turn out to be one of the best decisions her mother made for her. MAM became Autumn’s sanctuary, keeping her away from negative influences and providing her with opportunities for personal growth and development.
Autumn’s involvement in MAM extended to essentially every program available, including team sports, Bible study, Summer Academy, and our Amplify Mentor Program (AMP). While sports taught her discipline and patience, she realized that MAM was more than just athletics. Bible study taught her to step out of her comfort zone and encouraged her to read aloud, while AMP equipped her with valuable knowledge about financial responsibility and career exploration.
During Autumn’s eighth-grade year, her grandmother battled cancer, and she found herself emotionally overwhelmed. It was during this challenging time that Limone, her coach at MAM, became an unwavering source of support. Coach Limone walked alongside Autumn, offering prayers and lending an empathetic ear. Through this experience, Autumn learned the power of vulnerability and developed a deep trust in her coach, seeking guidance and solace from her.
Reflecting on her journey, Autumn acknowledges the significant impact MAM has had on her life. She recognizes that without MAM, her path might have taken a different, less positive trajectory. MAM provided Autumn with a sense of identity, teaching her the importance of staying true to herself and not conforming to societal pressures. The organization helped her discover her purpose and passion for making a difference in the lives of others.
Among the many individuals who impacted Autumn’s life, Coach Limone stood out as a role model and mentor. Autumn recalls a moment when she lied to her coach, only to be called out on it. This incident served as a pivotal moment, shaping her character and instilling in her a deep commitment to honesty and integrity. The strong bond between Autumn and Coach Limone continues to this day, transitioning from a coach-student relationship to a mother-daughter bond.Motivated by the profound impact MAM had on her life, Autumn made the decision to work as a coach at MAM. Her primary focus is on nurturing and empowering the elementary girls at MAM Olivet, just as Coach Limone did for her. Autumn’s personal experiences allow her to connect with the children on a deeper level, understanding their struggles and encouraging them to express their emotions freely.
For Autumn, the most rewarding aspect of working at MAM lies in the children themselves. Despite occasionally testing her patience, the joy of witnessing their growth and development far outweighs any challenges. By providing a safe and supportive environment, MAM helps shape well-rounded individuals who possess discipline, emotional control, and improved academic abilities.
Beyond the individual lives it touches, MAM plays a vital role in the Memphis community. By offering free and low-cost programs in under-resourced neighborhoods, MAM fills a significant gap in after-school activities. The organization not only ensures children are in a safe environment, but also provides them with opportunities to explore new experiences and develop skills that will serve them well in the future.
Autumn’s story is a testament to the profound impact that MAM has on the lives of youth participants. As a former participant turned coach, Autumn embodies the transformative power of MAM’s programs and mentorship. Through MAM, Autumn discovered her true self, gained valuable life skills, and developed a passion for making a difference in the lives of others.We invite you to celebrate Memphis Athletic Ministries’ 25th anniversary by becoming a monthly donor, or a MAM MVP. For only $25 per month, you can help to provide a secure and nurturing environment for young people to engage in Gospel-centered sports and after-school programs. Your monthly contribution will make a significant difference in our ministry, enabling us to continue to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis. Click the image above to give $25 for 25.
By becoming a MAM MVP, you’ll be joining a team of individuals dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of our young people and, ultimately, the city of Memphis. We encourage you to become a part of our community and help us continue our vital work.