Athletes Bring Olympic Lessons to the Classroom

"I try and relate the struggles I have had to what many of them are going through," Hamlin said. "I've been doing this for so long and it often felt like I wouldn't get to this point. They're still young enough to where if you can really reach them they can understand their circumstances don't have to hold them back."

"You see it in their faces, the desire to be better," Daily said.

She has been involved in the program since its inception five years ago. She said the athletes have even inspired her students to hold fundraisers and raise hundreds of dollars for construction projects in Rwanda and South Sudan.

Mesler said he's reaching out to more athletes and corporate sponsors every year, with a goal of putting athlete mentors like Hamlin in more than 1,000 classrooms across the world.

"Most people love Erin Hamlin now just because of what she did," Mesler said. "These kids love her for who she is."

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