Fields and Futures
Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Over the next few weeks, as we spotlight the 2019 Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) Visions honorees, we are spotlighting a nonprofit meaningful to each of the honorees.
David and Jean McLaughlin and their family established the McLaughlin Family Foundation in 2004 with the mission to “Create change in central Oklahoma that helps disadvantaged children and their families reach their full potential.” Fields and Futures serves such a mission.
“It’s hard to put into words the impact the McLaughlin family has on Fields and Futures and, more specifically, the thousands of students served by this work – now and long into the future,” said Dot Rhyne, Development Officer, Fields and Futures. “Their support is helping transform lives for Oklahoma City children and families on so many levels and it is appreciated more than they can ever know. Their financial and emotional investment in Oklahoma City kids will net a lifetime of positive returns!”
Seeing a correlation between sports participation and high school graduation rates in Oklahoma City, Tim (David and Jean’s son) and his wife Liz created Fields and Futures. According to their website, 91 percent of athletes are more motivated to attend school because of team sports.
In 2012, Fields and Futures completed their first field project – the Allen Ballpark at Jefferson Middle School. The Jefferson project included fields that accommodate football, soccer, baseball and softball. Since completing the Allen Ballpark at Jefferson Middle School, Fields and Futures has completed ten field projects.
According to the Roosevelt Middle School impact study on the Fields and Futures website, 65 female athletes were surveyed in March 2018. The study found, of those surveyed, 94 percent were motivated to stay academically eligible and 84 percent of all athletes’ grades improved, along with their study habits.
The study found sports led the athletes to have more ambitious education goals, including going to college, and had more access to resources and opportunities. They also developed better relationships with their teachers and were more proud to be a Roosevelt Titan.
According to the Fields and Futures website, they serve 45,000 students in 135.5 square miles in the Oklahoma City metro area. The field projects include practice, baseball, soccer, football, softball, track, basketball and futsal fields. Fields and Futures’ next project will be completed at U.S. Grant High School.