Gold medalists mentor students through Classroom Champions program

Posted at 6:58 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 19:15:02-04

Steve Mesler, gold medalist at the Vancouver Olympics for the four-man bobsled, and Adam Page, two-time Paralympic gold medalist for hockey at the Sochi and Vancouver Paralympics, mentored fifth-grade students at West Hertel Academy Tuesday morning.

It's part of their program, Classroom Champions, which aims to teach kids skills to succeed, with a champion by their side.

"Make their classrooms a place that is like the Olympics or the Paralympics where kids are setting big goals and they're following the steps to get there and at the end of the day, Classroom Champions can help teachers change that in their classrooms," said Mesler. "That's when we know we're doing a good job."

Both Page and Mesler are Buffalo natives. This is Page's first time this year mentoring kids through the program. He was part of the Buffalo Sabres Sled Hockey team from 1999 through 2013.

He was born with spina bifida, a rare defect that doesn't allow your spinal cord to develop properly. That, however, doesn't stop him.

"Even though I was born with a disability, I'm still just like anybody else, and they'll have bumps in the road with their goals and dreams, but always try to keep a positive attitude," said Page. "Keep pushing true and always keep going every time."

The program continues to grow. Mesler, President and CEO of Classroom Champions, says the program has gone from one classroom in Buffalo, to ten this year.

"To see the results that teachers are getting and to see how that's changing the classrooms is what we're doing this for," said Mesler.