Fashion brand, Polo Ralph Lauren, just launched a new campaign which features participants in a Philadelphia-based leadership development program sporting Polo fashions and representing Black excellence.
The campaign, shot by photographer Sharif Hamza, tells the story of the Work to Ride program and some of its participants, many of whom are Black. Through it we learn about people like Daymar Rosser, a two-time Interscholastic National Champion who is also the founder and captain of the Roger Williams University polo team.
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It's said that polo is a playing field for the privileged. In Philadelphia, one organization says otherwise. Work to Ride, an educational non-profit founded in 1994, offers children the opportunity not only to learn the sport of polo—but to excel at it. . Ralph Lauren is proud to support the Work to Ride foundation with a grant that will directly fund collegiate scholarships for the Work to Ride high school athletes. . Learn more about #WorkToRide through bio link.
“Because we started from nothing and no one believed in us, we were motivated as a team to win and put our school on the map, and each and every game we were just ready to play polo,” Rosser said.
Work to Ride is a nonprofit organization based out of Philadelphia’s historic Fairmount Park. It is a free program that seeks to expose urban youth, ages 7-19 to the world of equine sports and education. Participants make a long-term commitment to excel in the classroom and to learning to train, ride, and care for the grounds and horses housed on the property. Those who stick with the program through their high school graduation receive assistance with college applications and even scholarship funds.
"We want them to get good grades; we want to expose them to a wider world, provide them with as much opportunity as we can, and introduce them to as many new things, within our power, that we can," Lezlie Hiner, founder of Work to Ride told Polo Ralph Lauren. “Its gone from just trying to get them through high school to, at this point, really stressing moving onto college. And that’s not going to be for everybody. We don’t groom them to be professional polo players. The polo is a vehicle.”
In 2017 a participant of the Work to Ride program, Shariah Harris, made headlines when she became the first Black woman to play in the top-tier of U.S. Polo at just 19-years-old.
Through this campaign, Polo Ralph Lauren has become a proud supporter of the Work to Ride organization and has also contributed financially to help fund collegiate scholarships for high school-aged participants. Click HERE to learn more about the campaign and to learn more about the Work to Ride participants.