15th Annual Park Summit
This year marked the 15th Anniversary of the annual Park Summit. Hosted by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, this year’s gathering featured a series of informative and dynamic workshops, as well as networking opportunities that helped participants form valuable partnerships and celebrate this year’s theme “The Power of Parks.” The workshops are focused on helping attendees form a vision for the future of parks and recreation as well as give them the tools with which to implement it.
The event is being held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007 on Thursday, May 4, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are so proud that Natasha Watley is our keynote speaker for this year.
During a motivational speaking tour of inner city high schools, Natasha Watley was stunned when, in the middle of her presentation, a teenaged girl raised her hand.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but what is softball?”
Realizing that the sport she loved wasn’t exactly universal, especially among high school students, opened Natasha’s eyes. A two–time Pan American Gold Medalist, three-time World Champion, and four-time World Cup Champion, Natasha knew that introducing girls to softball could improve their self-esteem, confidence, and social skills. She vowed to find a way to open up the world of softball to inner city girls, hoping to foster a passion for both the game and teamwork.
Soon thereafter, Natasha founded the Natasha Watley Foundation (NWF), a community service nonprofit dedicated to introducing softball to the girls of the nation’s inner cities. More than simply teaching young women how to play the sport, her organization provides a positive alternative to the daily struggles faced by many girls in low-income households.
Natasha’s own softball career brims with superlatives and successes. After being named second team All-American in high school, she joined the UCLA Bruins, leading the team to three straight Women’s College World Series and the NCAA Division 1 Softball Championship title in 2003. In 2004, Natasha played with America’s Olympic team, taking home a gold medal. In 2008, she competed again, winning a silver medal. She then continued her professional career by joining Team Toyota in Japan.
While softball played a tremendous role in Natasha’s life, she managed to balance the sport with education, graduating from UCLA, then going on to receive a Master’s Degree in Business from Saint Leo University.
A true champion who has succeeded at every level she has played, Natasha now hopes to pass on her expertise in softball, team building, and leadership to the next generation of women. The Natasha Watley Foundation seeks to give every girl the opportunity to fall in love with softball, providing a path to not only a sport but also an improved quality of life.
For more information, please contact Elva Espinoza at 213-381-8347 or eespinoza@ or Carmen Garrido at 213-738-2844 or cgarrido@.
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