America SCORES New York seeks to create equitable opportunities for young people to experience sport, express themselves and inspire positive change off the field and outside the classroom. Using a social justice youth development framework, we emphasize racial equity,
fair play, teamwork and youth voice as key drivers of building a better, more equitable New York City.
America SCORES was started in 1994 in Washington, DC by public school teacher Julie Kennedy, who noticed that her students had limited access to after-school activities. Ms Kennedy realized that the combination of two seemingly unrelated activities, poetry and soccer, complemented each other through mutual involvement in public performance, self-expression, and group support. The relationships that developed through teamwork and leadership on the soccer field translated to peer support in poetry workshops. The skills later allowed these poet-athletes to act as agents of change within their community through a variety of service-learning projects. The program quickly expanded throughout DC and, in 2001, Kennedy launched sites in New York City. Today, America SCORES has a presence in 11 cities across the US and Canada: Bay Area, Chicago, Cleveland,Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Boston, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.