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Maggie Bidasolo, a 2017 Sisters High School graduate, was destined to be a Duck since birth. Now a sophomore at the University of Oregon, Bidasolo is making a difference in children’s lives through her involvement with the organization Youth Movement at the University.

Bidasolo is a sports business major at the University. She always knew she wanted to enter the business program and college with a passion project.

“I entered my freshman year eager to find a passion project that worked with my career objectives,” said Bidasolo.

During a Warsaw Sports Business Club meeting her freshman year a program called Youth Movement was presented, and she knew that she wanted to get involved.

Youth Movement is a non-profit organization of individuals that put on a field day for Native American youth from tribes across the Pacific Northwest. It aims to unite young Native Americans to build community and encourage healthy living through sports. It is catered to middle school-age kids who engage in a day of field activities.

This year’s field day was held on May 4.

“We structure the day on three pillars: sports, education and communication. We have art stations, nutrition stations and other types of activities you don’t see at a normal field day,” Bidasolo said.

They also have traditional sports games as well as the traditional Native American game shinny, similar to lacrosse and what the game of lacrosse was originally based upon. The field day event takes place at Pape Field, PK Park and Autzen Stadium at the University of Oregon — locations chosen to promote the desire to attend college later in life.

The field day is Youth Movement’s single event of the year, and planning and recruiting kids for the event begins the year prior with the executive team.

“We are trying to expand this moment for these kids into a true movement and hopefully incorporate high-school-age kids as well in the future,” Bidasolo said.

This year’s event broke all previous records with 320 kids in attendance and a huge number of sponsorship donations.

“We hope to expand our presence even more throughout the whole University and community,” Bidasolo said.

Youth Movement this year moved out of being associated soley with the Lundquist School of Business and is now working with the College of Education to reach out to more kids and those interested in educating, as well as reach out to the Native American population on campus.

Bidasolo, who this year became the executive director of Youth Movement, works with her staff of 35 members to plan and execute the event. The staff is split up into five teams including: cultural outreach, sponsorship, operations, design and communication.

“My job working with these groups is to educate and empower my team in planning the event, and also to oversee the staff and their own team members and make sure everyone is on task,” she said.

Her position also requires her to work closely with University faculty, staff and financial services. This position for Bidasolo was an opportunity for her to let her business and leadership skills shine.

“This event started out being important to me because I wanted a career-growth opportunity. But after being a team leader at last year’s event and seeing the impact and the connections I made with these kids made it an important part of my life overall,” she said. “That first day I bonded with my group I saw that I was able to impact them so greatly, and it just really struck home and I knew that I had to keep going with it to make sure it has an even bigger and better impact.”

Bidasolo learned a lot about herself in the experience of leading and overseeing groups of people for an impactful event.

“I learned that I liked to manage groups of people and be responsible for things. It really helped grow my people and professional skills,” she said.

She went into the position with some skills that she learned while at Sisters.

“Growing up around Rotary I saw how projects are taken from conception to reality and all the work that is put into it,” she said.

Being from a small town, Bidasolo wasn’t afraid to lead those older than herself and work with higher-ups, as she had been raised around adults and learned to communicate with them. She also applied skills from her sports background. Previously a competitive gymnast and dancer, she learned how to keep powering through in the face of adversity.

“In my sports career, I learned that you have the ability to make something better even in the face of an obstacle, and I applied that mindset and skills to planning an event of this magnitude that required a lot of willpower,” she said.

Homeschooled, Bidasolo had to teach herself how to learn, and she had to take her education into her own hands.

“I had to learn how to learn, and that is similar to being in this executive director position, there is no textbook or someone telling you how to do this, you have to learn for yourself,” she said.

Bidasolo credits her experience growing up in the Sisters community for her success as a leader of the Field Day.

“I want to thank my family and members of the community that supported me in Sisters and continue to support me in my college endeavors and always had good advice and encouragement from an outside perspective,” she said.

Bidasolo and her team are already beginning the debrief meetings and planning for next year’s event, and hope to expand the event and impact even more kids’ lives through sport and community.