When Kaleia Vicenti attended ZYEP’s first Summer Camp in 2009, she was just 7 years old. She didn’t know what to expect; her family didn’t either. They couldn’t have imagined that those engaging summer weeks would turn into an enduring relationship with the youth project, one that would have a lasting impact on three generations of the Vicenti family.
Kaleia, now an 18-year-old freshman and collegiate runner at Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado, recalls that she enjoyed learning about nutrition and the Zuni language at Summer Camp — and she fell in love with the physical education activities. She soon transitioned to ZYEP’s Youth Sport programs, playing soccer, basketball, and even football.
“The first year of soccer, we lost every game,” remembers Stephanie Vicenti, Kaleia’s mother, with a laugh. “We had no clue how to cheer, or how the game was played. But we learned a new sport with each other. We’ve gotten close with all the families. It’s been exciting to watch each other’s kids grow.”