In this edition of Pure Game’s Field Champion Spotlight, we’d like you to meet Anthony Cummings, our Director of Strategic Partnerships and Youth Leadership Programs. Anthony recently joined our team with an extensive background in youth leadership development, most recently leading Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Football Club’s Youth Leadership Program. He enjoys helping underserved youth and making a positive change in the lives of every Pure Game participant.
Get to know more about Anthony’s journey:
Pure Game: How did you get involved with Pure Game?
Anthony Cummings: I got introduced to Pure Game about nine years ago. I was the Director of LAFC’s Youth Leadership Program, and I met Tony [Everett] at an LA84 event and we struck up a conversation since our two organizations were both about character and leadership development though soccer. We stayed in touch over the years sharing non-profit resources, tricks of the trade, grant opportunities, and so on and so forth. I also used Pure Game to train our youth leaders and implement some of the curriculum into our programs.
After I left LAFC YLP, Tony and I stayed in touch. I was interviewing for a few other youth sport/non-profit jobs and I reached out to Tony to ask for his insight into the organizations or if he knew anything about them. That led to a conversation about would I be open to working for Pure Game instead of the others. And here I am now!
PG: How has Pure Game helped in your personal development?
AC: Pure Game has helped me with my personal development in a number of ways. It has allowed me to grow in areas where I am naturally strong. Relationships and Partnerships to be specific. For years I have been really good at bringing people to causes that are bigger than themselves. It comes naturally to me and I always find myself meeting people and talking about my work with underserved youth. Coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants – it didn’t matter. I was always gathering people. And Tony and the Leadership team have fostered a culture of ‘if you can dream it go and do it.”
Tony also has an innate ability to get his staff to stop and reflect. To take another look at what we are doing. To look inward and encourage that best version of ourselves. He has done this with me, and the reflection piece has provided me with another tool for my leadership and given me permission to be kind to myself and rethink projects, plans, and outcomes.
PG: What inspired you to join the Pure Game staff?
AC: I have always been drawn to organizations that are bigger than themselves and serve a greater good. It’s why I started the LAFC Youth Leadership program and it’s what I am here today. I want to do work that is meaningful and has purpose. Work that really changes people’s lives and does it different. I pride myself in being a force for good in this world. While most people want fame, money, accolades…I want to serve those kids and families that don’t have the resources I did growing up. I want to empower them to be the best version of themselves and let them know they are not alone. Pure Game does all of this and more!