Boys in group homes learn from 28-mile race
FAIRVIEW—Several of the county’s youth residential treatment centers joined together to compete in the first ever “Invictus” Relay Race on Skyline Drive on July 27.
Every boy in competing centers tied up their sneakers to race 28.1 miles, beginning at the top of Fairview Canyon Road and finishing where Skyline Drive meets Highway 6.
“Invictus” is Latin for “unconquerable,” and Josh Wilkey, co-founder of Compass Academy in Moroni, said he wanted the boys to see that they could accomplish difficult tasks if they put in the work to prepare for the challenge.
Wilkey says the idea for launching the “Invictus” race sparked after he ran in a similar event with some of his family and friends.
“We witnessed the hard work and contributions from each team member and thought it would also benefit the kids we work with,” he told the Messenger. “We were right and it has been amazing to see the results.”
Another learning experience staff wanted the boys to acknowledge was how crucial team playing skills are.
“We want the kids to see that they could accomplish hard things when they put in the work to prepare,” Wilkey said about instilling team playing values in the boys. “We want these kids to realize their positive contribution to a team—a family—and be proud no matter the outcome of the race, knowing they helped their team finish 28.1 miles.”
Wilkey is a native of Moroni and has worked in various treatment facilities since 2001. Because he had positive adult role models in his youth, he says he felt it was his turn to “pay it forward.”
He and Dan Sperry of Moroni opened Compass Academy in Moroni in 2010 and since then has helped “lost” kids navigate their way to leading healthy and positive lives.
“I wish everyone could witness the successes that these youth experience,” Wilkey says. “People only seem to hear and talk about the ‘negative,’ but there is so much more positive happening. Overall, these kids are great.”