In January, a DC SCORES coach was honored at a Washington Wizards game for her outstanding work both inside and outside the classroom.
Chiara Lee, who coaches girls soccer at Burrville Elementary School, won the Wizards Care Community Assist Award for her tremendous work as a DC SCORES coach for six years.
Lee also is the girls basketball coach at Johnson Middle School – another DC SCORES school – and coaches several AAU teams.
Recently, we got the opportunity to ask Lee about her long, exceptional experience working as a DC SCORES coach:
What did it mean to you to receive the Wizards Care Community Assist Award?
Winning the Wizards Care Community Assist Award was an AWESOME experience. It reminds me daily why I continue to work with the students and how important it is to give back.
How long have you been with DC SCORES and how did you get involved?
I’ve been coaching for DC SCORES for 6 years. I got involved during the spring season before my first official year of coaching. I was working out with the soccer team and Mr. Forte (who coaches the boys team at Burrville) asked if I was interested in coaching soccer.
What’s your other job within or outside the school?
I teach pre-K at Burrville ES, coach girls basketball at Johnson Middle School in Ward 8 and coach AAU basketball.
How did you get into education or start working with youth?
I always was involved in sports as a young child so naturally as an adult I was looking forward to giving back.
Why did you choose to work for DC SCORES; what attracted you to the program?
I was ‘unofficially’ trained by Mr. Forte; he provided information about the program before I agreed to coach. Once the season began we went full speed ahead.
Now that you’ve been doing it for a while, what do you enjoy most about it?
The opportunity to see the students grow academically and athletically. With the writing component the students learn to express themselves creatively and sharpen their writing skills. And they gain knowledge and are being exposed to soccer.
Why is DC SCORES important to the school and the students it serves?
DC SCORES provides the students with an outlet. Many of the students in our district are searching for an activity that is the perfect fit for them. With DC SCORES the students get a two-for-one special.
Was there an experience you had growing up that pushed you into education or toward doing a program like DC SCORES? Were you in a similar program?
Playing for the local recreation and parks team, my coaches were really hands on. We did various activities as a team throughout the week to get to know each other and gel. In education there were several teachers that left a lasting impression.
What’s your favorite DC SCORES event and why?
Fall Frenzy/Jamboree! Both of these events afford the students the opportunity to experience soccer at different levels. At the Fall Frenzy, the students get excited because it kicks the program off and the students get to see teams from the (other side of the city). The Jamboree! is the culminating activity that lets the students celebrate others’ success and see the coaches get together and play one another.
What’s your most memorable DC SCORES experience?
Taking the young people to the Soccer Fiesta. The students were able to participate in obstacle courses, hang out with the Cartoon Network characters and have a good time.
Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan
Favorite singer or poet: Langston Hughes
Favorite food: Spinach