Texas Cavaliers News & Profiles - Spring 2019 issue
Spotlight: City Kids Adventures
Leon McNeil and his wife Leticia are literally changing the lives of inner-city kids with their City Kids Adventures. Introducing kids to camping, kayaking, offshore fishing, ATV riding, hiking, archery, hunting, and canoeing, they are exposing them to the vast, promising world beyond their often narrow scope. They serve more than 150 kids each year, from sixth grade up. In the summer, they take groups of older kids on trips around the U.S. to broaden their knowledge and cultural awareness.
It looks like pure fun ... but it’s deeper than that. City Kids Adventures lives by a simple motto: Hard work has many rewards. Leon, Leticia, and their son Lee Charles model what it means to live in a loving, supportive family. Participants perform community service, keep their grades up, and mentor others. They develop purpose-driven lives and self-confidence. Graduates become teachers and police officers and they serve in the military, paying it forward, like Leon and Leticia.
Leon was an inner-city kid who credits “the countless coaches and teachers who steered my life in a positive direction as inspiration for this mission.” He earned a
football scholarship to Abilene Christian University where
he was invited on his first camping trip, and it was transformative. He and Leticia met 26 years ago while teaching at an inner-city middle school, and founded this organization to share their love of the outdoors with students. Today, Leon is a coach at San Antonio Academy, but he reserves his weekends and summers for City Kids Adventures.
City Kids Adventures has no salaried employees. Leon, Leticia, and volunteers make it happen with the financial support of individuals, businesses, and private landowners who allow access to their ranches.
He values among his staunch supporters a handful of Texas Cavaliers whose financial contributions and other gifts have helped his program thrive. For the past four years, the TCCF has awarded grants to City Kids Adventures. “Friends like the Cavaliers make it possible for our kids to find meaningful relationships, acquire discipline, develop moral character, and gain the tools to succeed.”
Three issues per year will keep you updated on a grant recipient, a profile on “One of the Good Guys in Blue Suits” and short notices of interest.