LA84 Announces Youth Ambassadors Program

LOS ANGELES – The LA84 Foundation is pleased to announce the formation of the LA84 Student Athletes in Motion, known as SAMbassadors. The advisory board is the first of its kind for the foundation, offering guidance about grants, programs and activities. The SAMbassadors are comprised of students who are active in sports, civically engaged, between the ages of 11 to 17 and who personify LA84’s core commitment to the transformative power of sports.

Titled SAMbassadors as a tribute to Sam the Eagle, the mascot of the 1984 Olympic Games, the advisory board was created to actively involve young people in the work of the LA84 Foundation. They provide first-hand perspective and foster an ongoing dialogue on behalf of the youth who benefit from funded sports programs between the LA84 Foundation and the communities that it serves. Five of the SAMbassador members will serve as panelists at the LA84 Foundation’s 5th Annual Summit, PLAYING FORWARD: The Present and Future of Youth Sports, which will be held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live on October 27, 2016.

“We are excited to welcome the SAMbassadors to the LA84 family; young people can make invaluable contributions to their communities and are empowered themselves when they participate. We believe direct youth involvement offers great benefits to both the members of the advisory board as well as to the LA84 Foundation staff,” said Renata Simril, President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “By inviting youth to actively participate in our work, we are elevating the voices of the youth we serve to ensure that we are making informed decisions that result in measurable impact.”

LA84 Youth Ambassadors at their first meeting in July 2016.
LA84 Youth Ambassadors at their first meeting at the LA84 Foundation in July 2016.

The SAMbassadors program is another component of LA84’s commitment to PLAYING FORWARD, leveling the playing field for all children to have access to sport, and elevating youth sport as an indispensable component of positive youth development; the theme of this year’s LA84 Foundation Summit.

The five SAMbassadors who will play a key role at the LA84 Foundation Summit include 17-year old Emily Eisner, Founder of Play It Forward, 17-year old SaraJoy Salib, Water Polo Athlete and Outstanding Academic All-American award recipient, 14-year old Kayla Novak, a cyclist and tennis athlete at Redondo Union High School, 14-year old Jaiher Douglas, two-sport athlete at Augustus Hawkins High School and 11-year old Ezra Frech, Track & Field Parathlete. They will speak on the Voices from the Field: Young Athletes Panel, moderated by Gary Hall Jr., five-time Olympic Gold medal swimmer and health and wellness advocate.

Sponsors for the summit include: The Los Angeles Times, Fox Sports West, The Dodgers Foundation, County of Los Angeles District 2, LA 2024, Los Angeles Football Club, KCRW and Cal State Northridge.

To learn more about the SAMbassador program or for more information about the LA84 Foundation Summit, please visit

About the LA84 Foundation

As a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games, the LA84 Foundation continues to be a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and elevating the importance of sports in positive youth development. LA84 seeks to provide an opportunity for every child to participate in sports and experience the wide range of positive outcomes associated with youth sport participation. Since its launch in 1985, LA84 has invested millions in the communities that supported the Games, reaching more than 3 million youth throughout Southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego County. The LA84 Foundation continues to promote the spirit of the 1984 Olympic Games by convening and engaging local, national and international audiences about the role of sport in society, and the impact of the Olympic Games on host cities, especially as we look ahead to the 2024 Games.  LA84’s headquarters is located in the historic Britt House near downtown Los Angeles, where it houses meeting facilities and the world’s premier sports library. For more information, please visit