Global Citizens

By Amanda Wolfe

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Colleen Lewis-Aguilar

The Compassionate Coach

Colleen Lewis-Aguilar, Whittier, California

Lewis-Aguilar, a high school Spanish teacher and basketball coach, went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 2005. "I was playing basketball with all the boys at recess every day," says Lewis-Aguilar. "Finally I asked one girl why she didn't play. She said, 'I can't, I'm a girl.'" That stuck with Lewis-Aguilar, and she started Basketball as a Mission the following year. The charity hosts weeklong basketball camps for underprivileged girls in countries like Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Costa Rica. Basketball as a Mission has now helped more than 500 kids gain confidence through sports.

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