Pete Carroll’s caring, relationship-based approach extends beyond the football field, too.
Through several endeavors in Seattle, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, Carroll’s passion for a better world has led to extensive efforts in the community — aiming to help people find their best by linking them to life-changing resources. Carroll’s heart for youth empowerment has also fueled him to spearhead efforts to bring WE Day to the United States and launch an academic program at the University of Southern California that teaches the elements of high performance.
Here’s a glance at Carroll’s core off-field and community-centered involvements over the years:
In 2017, Carroll cofounded the Performance Science Institute at USC’s Marshall School of Business, a first-of-its-kind curriculum at a U.S. university. The minor and its associated classes aim to teach students the elements of a high-performance mindset and provide tools to earn a competitive advantage in any field. The wide-ranging topics are centered in business and entrepreneurship and also delve into psychology, organizational behavior, neuroscience, and physiology.
In 2013, Carroll led the charge to bring WE Day to the U.S. for the first time ever. Originally solely based in Canada, WE Day celebrates youth volunteerism through an annual arena-sized extravaganza along with a year-long program in schools that equips young people to take action on local and global issues they are passionate about. Since its first Seattle event, WE Day has returned to the region each year and has reached dozens of other cities around the world, impacting and empowering millions of youth in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In 2011, Carroll partnered with the YMCA’s Alive and Free program to found A Better Seattle, a unique collaboration that unites outreach workers, law enforcement, elected officials, community members, and business leaders to reach youth impacted by violence, gangs, and the juvenile justice system. In the years since starting, A Better Seattle and the Alive and Free Program have created life-changing opportunities for at-risk youth to escape the cycles of gang violence and crime.
While listening to the radio on his way to work at USC one morning in 2002, Carroll heard that gang violence had taken the life of a seventh young person that week alone. The news grabbed Carroll’s heart and moved him into action. Before long, Carroll gathered community leaders, elected officials, and businesspeople to set a vision for Los Angeles’ roughest neighborhoods — and to build “A Better LA” together. The initiative, which supports outreach workers to reduce gang violence and transform communities from within, proceeded to flourish. Through a revolutionary collaborative model that empowers people who had previously been involved with gangs, A Better LA not only reduces violence — homicide rates in LA have drastically dropped since its founding — it also creates opportunities for communities to prosper so individuals can live, work, and play in peace.