For two decades, Wendy Hilliard has trained a generation of children what she learned during a gymnastics career that made her the first black athlete to compete for Team USA in gymnastics.
She’s done that through the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation, a nonprofit that trains underserved kids at little or no cost. But it hasn’t been all fun and games for Hilliard. She has learned over the years that while gymnastics can teach children self-discipline and confidence, her athletic expertise is not enough by itself to help her manage a nonprofit that just this past year expanded to her native Detroit.
Many of the kids she serves have needs arising out of poverty, problems in school, anger issues and other challenges that could lead a youth astray. But Hilliard’s Foundation has found a way to keep her foundation focused on its mission while helping kids succeed.
NYN Media reporter Zach Williams recently visited one of her classes to find out her secret.