Famed educator Rita Pierson was passionate in her belief that every child deserves a champion, someone who won’t give up on them, who believes in the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. This belief is at the heart of the More2Life Foundation. Our year-round initiatives have been designed to reach children across the country and provide opportunities and connections to help empower them to reach their full potential in life.
Though he now finds himself in his dream job as the head coach at BYU, Kalani Sitake’s life has not been without challenge. The biggest began at age 6 when his parents divorced.
“Despite having a lot of love in my life, the divorce had a lasting effect on me and my siblings,” he says.
He struggled with confidence and defeating thoughts. A couple years after the divorce, Kalani’s life changed at a Cascade Elementary assembly.
“All the BYU players were there, telling us to stay away from drugs, eat our veggies and don’t take rides with strangers,” he remembers.
Afterward, classmates clamored for autographs, but he shyly stayed back. A player sought him out and asked his name.
“He embraced me and it was beautiful,” Kalani says. “That moment started the healing process and I felt that I had purpose. It changed my life. I was already a BYU fan, but now I was going to die a BYU fan.”
“I have told the student athletes that experience and how grateful I am for a player who listened to the spirit and embraced me, even if it didn’t make sense to him,” he says. “A smile, a gesture can change someone’s life in less than 10 seconds. That experience has impacted me for 30 years.”
These “moments” that transform lives became the inspiration for Kalani and Timberly to found the More2Life Foundation.
“Think about the possibilities if you could change even just one person’s understanding of what they’re capable of,” says Kalani. “Imagine if you could help them to see how powerful they can be in bringing positive change to the world.”
“We’ve all heard how there are three types of people: those who are immovable, those who can be moved, and then those that just move. We need to get more people moving and doing good. We need to start a movement. It’s very important.”
Utilizing the very visible platform given to college athletes, More2Life has been able to serve hundreds of disadvantaged youth in places like New York City and Los Angeles. We also have hopeful plans to continue to expand our efforts across the country thanks to the generosity of many people who’ve been willing to support this great cause.
Special thanks to Jeanette Bennett of Utah Valley Magazine for some of the content of this article.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kalani & Timberly Sitake, Founders • Patti Edwards • James Clarke • Kevin Feterik • Brian Savage, General Counsel
Jared Chapple • Mike VanSteenkiste • Steve Zolman • Blayne Andersen • Min Kim
Corey Shelley • Dustin Van Gilder • Jeremy Livingston • Carlos Nuno