Utah Department of Corrections

Con-Quest residents Paying It Forward!

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When the Pleasant Grove Vikings and Westlake Thunder high school football teams square off Friday night, keep your eye out for this banner! It was made by some residents of the Con-Quest program at the Utah State Prison — one of a half dozen they've made this year for local schools.

"This idea originated after brainstorming the 'Pay It Forward' concept," said Jamie Ames, a program therapist. "In my section, the mantra is to 'Pay It Forward' with good intention and expect nothing in return.'"

The residents of the section decided making banners for local Little League and high school sports teams was a great way to do that.

"From a clinical perspective, it has created great unity within my section," Ames said, fostering cooperation between residents of all ages, backgrounds and races.

"Essentially, the residents get to know each other on a more personal level, which diminishes a lot of tension and discontent," Ames said. "On to of that, the residents begin to feel good about contributing to the good in society and become excited about new ways to maintain this mindset."

Each banner has a theme. The banner that will be displayed at the Vikings v. Thunder game Friday night in Saratoga Springs pay tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October.

Ames said the Roy High Royals banner honored Head Coach Fred Fernandes for his ability to create a family-like environment for his team as well as his emphasis on sportsmanship within the league.

The Jordan High Beetdiggers v. Alta Hawks banner was suggested by a co-worker who is a former Beetdigger — as is Amees.

Two banners highlight the importance of Little League sports and what it teaches youth.

And then there is the banner the residents created for the Taylorsville Warriors vs. Hillcrest Huskies game. That banner honors one of the team moms, who is battling MS.

"The residents felt strongly that this team mom should be recognized for being so 'tough' in the sense that she can handle all the responsibilities of a high school football team while battling this disease," Ames said.

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