When I interviewed at America SCORES New York, I didn’t know immediately that it would be a perfect fit. I was supposed to meet Nick and Shannon at Jacob Schiff field on 137th street. Because I thought I was a cool New Yorker, I figured that I would take the 6 train to 137th and then walk over. Little did I know that 137th street on the 6 train is actually in the Bronx. I was flustered and arrived around 25 minutes late. Nick and Shannon were very forgiving though, and didn’t hold my inability to read a map against me. Once I met those two gems and spent some time training the middle school girls at Hamilton Grange, I felt sure that America SCORES was the place for me (despite my embarrassing lateness). Jeralyn, one of the girls on the team, immediately made me feel welcome. We came up with our own handshake within ten minutes of meeting eachother (it was confusing and awesome).
After my interview, my first SCORES experience was summer camp. Zach and I figured out that we were nearly identical in every way (except he has a few gray hairs), and the summer started out amazingly. Katie Carroll and Nick were awesome and helped us get the ball rolling (ha!) on all things SCORES. The kids at summer camp learned a lot, and I did too! I learned that Javier is the most creative kid ever, and that the Aguilar family is incredibly tight-knit and kind-hearted. I learned that Zach is actually pretty good at soccer and that regular balloons don’t work as water balloons. I learned that Jeremy loves to talk about his weekend and likes to help set up the goals. I learned a little Spanish, a little patience, and a lot about the greatest kids on the planet.
One of the coolest things about summer camp was being able to watch the students progress: athletically, socially, and academically. As the summer passed, campers gained confidence in their soccer skills. Fabricio, a camper who was initially struggling, finished out the summer with a more powerful shot and great field vision. Diony, a camper who didn’t want to share his poetry in the beginning of the summer, was one of the first volunteers to share on the last day of camp. David and Jason branched out from their friend groups and supported one another on the field and off. Everyone improved and everyone found success in some part of camp, whether in the poetry, in the soccer, or in those “quiet” moments - talking and laughing with my fantastic campers - that I came to value so much.
I can’t wait for the season to start; I am excited to see what goals (ha!) get accomplished and what fun fall brings!