It all started with a triathlon retail store in Chicago's West Loop and quickly grew into a training community after our launch of the Chicago Triathlon First Timers’ program in 2015 for the Chicago Triathlon
Since then, we’ve encouraged, guided, and supported more than 3,000 ordinary people in their quests to accomplish extraordinary things. We witnessed those same people take their newfound confidence, apply it to their personal and professional lives and thrive.
Live Grit founder Gillian Fealy has a law background with an emphasis on social work. Her normal 9-5 job is as an attorney with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian. She saw first hand the social and economic disparities that children in underserved and under resourced communities face on a daily basis. It was this experience that motivated her to engage her community to try to solve these problems. Gillian wanted to give opportunities similar to those she was given, to youth who wouldn’t usually get first chances, let alone second chances.
After owning a triathlon retail store, in 2017 Gillian created Live Grit SOARS to provide the opportunities, mentorship, and training to Chicago’s underprivileged youth.
Today Live Grit SOARS focuses our work on equitable access and empowerment of youth through our digital device program and our youth triathlon team.
who we serve
90% of Live Grit SOARS youth are from low income communities, receiving free or reduced lunch
79% children living in households that make less than $50k year have little to no swimming ability.
33% of Chicago Public School students are without long term access to computers.
Building strong kid through equitable access and empowerment
All kids have the same opportunities to learn regardless of their neighborhood or economic situations.
All kids know what its like to have purpose, to do, see and feel new things, and be part of the world.
digital divide program
Live Grit SOARS has provided more than 300 Chromebooks to Chicago Public School Students (to keep) as of June 2020.
youth triathlon program
Live Grit SOARS has taught 100 kids to swim and ride bikes and 65 of those kids were mentored and coached to complete the Chicago Kids Triathlon as of August 2021.