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Thursday, April 1, 2010

DC SCORES alumni look to give back to program

Dana L. couldn't believe it. As a freshman at Bell High School this fall, she watched whenever she could as the Lincoln Middle School soccer team -- the same team she had played on the previous two years -- had its best season ever.

Lincoln, one of DC SCORES' six middle schools, fielded a girls team that advanced all the way to the Capital Cup Championship, where it played a competitive match against three-time champion Alice Deal Middle School.

And Dana, who still sees many Lincoln students because the middle school and high school share a building, was pleasantly surprised.

"I was pretty amazed, kind of shocked, but it was like a good shock," she said.

Dana isn't the only DC SCORES alum who remains interested in the program's fortunes. On Wednesday, a group of 20 former participants -- representing eight District high schools and four of our middle schools -- visited the DC SCORES office to learn how they can remain involved with each other and the organization and give back to the schools through which they participated in programming.

The idea is to hold events specifically for alumni, such as on April 10 at Tubman Elementary School when local college teams will hold clinics and a tournament for the kids followed by a Washington Freedom game at the Maryland SoccerPlex that night. There was also talk of creating alumni soccer tournaments, putting together a club team and holding pickup games.

Dana said she's looking forward to "a lot of games that involve helping each other, respecting and having fun at the same time." And Martha D., who also participated in DC SCORES for two years at Lincoln and is now a Bell freshman, echoed Dana's sentiments, excited about the prospect of getting to play alongside other SCORES alumni.

But in addition to creating a network for alumni to hold fun events together, the get-together aimed to gauge interest the high school students have in giving back to the program -- whether it's through refereeing elementary school games, being an assistant coach or helping out at a school in any way.

And there was a strong positive response, especially from a group of five-plus students who will lead alumni communication and organize events through a leadership council. Dana and Martha both plan to serve on the council and look forward to not only padding their extracurricular resumes, but remaining connected to DC SCORES throughout their high school years.

After all, they still share a building with the current Lincoln SCORES team. So why not support them and help ensure continued success for the program they helped build?

"That’d be good," Dana said, "to show our appreciation for DC SCORES."

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