On Discovering Power Through Play


Partner + VP of Digital Marketing Suzzy Mclean recounts her experience with powerplay nyc and its personal connection to her life.

I proudly support PowerPlay NYC, a charity that supports after school sports programs for girls and young women. We empower young girls and women by providing a safe place to foster self-confidence and a healthy lifestyle.

Drawing upon my personal experience, I didn’t know how fortunate I was to have sports as part of my after school programs. I ran cross country for a season but cramped up too much, ran track as well but fell over the hurdles one too many times, tried out for volleyball but I was too short, played tennis and badminton and then I finally found my true love….dance. I first started out with tap, jazz and ballet and quickly gravitated towards jazz and eventually hip hop. The performance my group did to Janet Jackson’s Escapade in 1989 inspired me to continue on my dance journey which transpired to a half-time hip-hop dance performance at Madison Square Garden for a WNBA game!

Without sports, I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends or pushed myself to be physically (and mentally) stronger. And, the research shows that girls who play sports are less likely to smoke, drink, use drugs, or get pregnant as a teenager.

At PowerPlay NYC, we take a methodical approach to how we train, mentor and influence participants in the long term. We focus on six specific social and emotional learning capacities: self management, contribution, academic self-efficacy, social skills, positive identity, and social capital. PowerPlayNYC is focused on each of these capacities tapping into a girl’s greatest potential.

On Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, PowerPlayNYC hosted its 20th anniversary gala at The Lighthouse at Pier 61 in New York City. The event showcased the success PowerPlay NYC has had in achieving its mission of empowering girls through play while honoring Athleta, Monica Alvarez-Mitchell, Padma Lakshmi, and Laura E. Kohler. The gala, with its title sponsors being Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, is an opportunity to support the progress of this transformational girl-focused organization.

PowerPlay NYC recognizes the potential it holds in impacting the lives of young girls. Emphasizing physical, emotional, and academic strength and how they work in conjunction with one another combats the marginalization girls too often face in schools and activities. PowerPlayNYC offers the opportunity for countless girls to find the life altering passion that I found through dance. This passion develops into a confidence that will resonate for a lifetime. This charity is girl-led, girl-focused, and girl-empowering, and I so proudly support its mission.