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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meet DC SCORES' newest staff members

Now more than ever DC SCORES is seen as a critical program for schools throughout the District. There has never been a greater demand for our model, and because of that, we’re striving to grow as quickly as possible while maintaining the high quality of our activities at each school we serve.

To do so, we have added four full-time employees this fall, whom we’re excited to introduce. Rather, let’s just let them introduce themselves and explain why they made the move to DC SCORES.

9.15.11 JL new staff 014Jessica Rosen
Development Manager, Individual Giving
After moving to DC in 2006, from North Carolina, I decided to pursue a career in political affairs. My three years in the International Relations Association at Appalachian State (don’t laugh, I was an avid model UN-er) had convinced me that I was going to change the world, one earth-shattering policy at a time. However, over the past five years, I discovered one very important thing about myself:

I love to learn about, discuss and debate politics, but I don’t want it to be my life.

I was not passionate about it, found no real fulfillment in it and more than anything I wanted to be over-the-moon about my job. I needed to find another way to change the world.

Then along came DC SCORES. I began volunteering for DCS over a year ago, saw the program in action at Fall Frenzy, and met the amazingly dedicated staff at a small fundraiser I helped plan. And as a firm believer in the power of the public school system (I, myself, am a proud graduate of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools), I instantly felt the urge to help them succeed.

The need for after-school enrichment programs in DC is growing by the day, and, unfortunately, the funds seem to be diminishing at the same rate. Being given the opportunity to help raise enough money to not only sustain but grow this amazing program is a dream come true for me.

9.15.11 JL new staff 011Zach Elkin
AmeriCorps Program Manager
I first learned about the SCORES concept about 12 years ago in Boston, MA, when my younger brother participated in America SCORES New England at his elementary school. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2009, I jumped at the opportunity to join the DC SCORES staff as the AVODAH/Program Coordinator.

In that role, and as the Tubman Elementary School soccer coach, I developed a sense of belonging to the organization, a commitment to the students it serves, and I became an advocate for out-of-school time learning.

This year, DC SCORES is embarking on a new initiative to develop young leaders and increase the effectiveness of DC SCORES programs by training AmeriCorps volunteers to coach in our schools. As someone who understands the challenges and rewards of volunteerism and direct service, I’m excited to instill fervor for working in the District’s most struggling communities amongst the AmeriCorps coaches. I expect to see a new generation of youth workers make professional strides, gain practical skills in the field, and cultivate a spirit of volunteerism for their futures.

9.15.11 JL new staff 003Joe Brophy
Elementary School Program Coordinator
I grew up in Beaverton, Oregon, and just graduated this past May from Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH, where I majored in Jewish Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies and played on the club soccer team. I’m currently a fellow with AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps and am very excited to join the vibrant team at DC SCORES.

I was attracted to DC SCORES because it combines the passion I have for soccer as well as education. The unique blend of poetry, soccer and service-learning makes both a great after-school program and a great work environment where people are enthusiastic, down to earth and dedicated.

I look forward to doing meaningful work for this tremendous organization, helping to organize the elementary school programs, plan fun poetry readings, and run our free summer camps!

9.15.11 JL new staff 006Nikki Allinson
Community Outreach Coordinator
I recently graduated from The University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Family Studies and Public Policy. While at UConn I was involved in Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, volunteered in Honduras, founded the Amnesty International Club, and held a Human Rights Internship with Hillel.

I like to stay busy but I always make a point to read something on the side (right now it's a Stephen King novel) and I can’t function in the morning without coffee. I love everything outdoorsy and I laugh at myself often, usually as a result of my clumsiness. This past March I was fortunate enough to be invited to the first White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, which sparked my initial love of DC.

I was first attracted to DC SCORES by its mission to wholesomely enrich a student’s life through athletics, creative expression, and community spirit, and I’ve since joined the organization through my fellowship with AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.

I am responsible for organizing and managing the growing DC SCORES alumni group in terms of youth professional development. I am also recruiting volunteers to expand our programming, which includes creating sustainable partnerships with universities as well as organizing parent initiatives. Since beginning working with this energetic and dedicated staff, I can’t say enough great things about the important work that DC SCORES does and the amazing people behind it!

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