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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DC SCORES alumni elections held; new president already leading the way

Written by Nikki Allinson
Community Outreach Coordinator

Two minutes to speak about your qualifications.

Two questions will be asked by your peers.

You can run for as many positions as you’d like!

Ms. Nikki counts the votes.

Respect your fellow alumni!

These were the rules posted on the white board in the DC SCORES conference room as the alumni filtered in. Most of the students were still wearing their school uniforms to go with their expressions of determination and eager smiles.

It was, finally, Election Day for the DC SCORES Alumni Executive Board!

DC SCORES alumni consist of any older youth who have been involved in DC SCORES programming at any point in their education third-eighth grades.

The day had been a long time coming here at DC SCORES, and the students were excited to get the process under way. Since beginning at DC SCORES, I have met countless alumni of the program who never cease to amaze me. So when they spoke up about wanting to be directly involved in the structure of the alumni program, I welcomed their enthusiasm.

The Executive Board consists of the following positions: President, Vice President, Recruitment Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and a Programming Committee. Alumni and I carefully thought out these positions through brainstorm meetings in the previous months.

The first position to be voted on was President, a powerful role within the alumni community. There were several candidates deserving of the title but it was Aaron Hutchins, a sophomore at Phelps High School, who stood out.

“I’m a natural leader, and I believe in Democracy,” was the opening line to his two-minute speech. A carefully worded and thoughtful presentation by Aaron was followed by whoops and hollers from his peers, saying, “He’s like a mini Obama!”

The ‘mini Obama’ comparison later rang true as he suited up for his first public presidential appearance.

Aaron volunteered at both nights of the Poetry Slam!, presenting awards and speaking to parents with a graceful yet commanding presence. He has truly embodied what it means to be a leader among his peers.

The rest of the elections flew by in a whirlwind of speeches and poignant question-and-answer periods until finally the Alumni Executive Board was complete.

The first action step decided by the Executive Board: more pepperoni pizza at the next meeting! The second action step: plan a community service project for alumni to do together.

This has been the theme of the alumni community since I began working with them in September. They are a dedicated and passionate group of high school students, all looking for meaningful activities to do in their free time.

Throughout the next few weeks, the Alumni Executive Board has set aside time to meet with me (Ms. Nikki to them) to discuss our goals as well as action steps we can take together to make our dreams reality. This dream involves a structured alumni program allowing older youth to participate in soccer tournaments, picnics, SAT prep courses, college panels and college visits, and many more opportunities!

In addition to the leadership and innovation needed to create their own program, alumni have continued to volunteer for DC SCORES as they always have. It’s a testament to the quality of DC SCORES programming that they choose this familiar organization to donate their time and energy to.

You can see them as referees at elementary soccer games, assistant coaches at their old schools, or as spokespersons for DC SCORES.

“I volunteer with DC SCORES because it helps me stay involved with the things I love,” said Dennis Velasquez, a junior at Roosevelt Senior High School. “DC SCORES helped me be a better person.”

And now, this alumni program will further develop the skills they gained from DC SCORES originally. 

How’s that for coming full-circle?

The full Alumni Executive Board:
President — Aaron Hutchins
Vice President — Delmar Tarrago
Recruitment Chair — Ingrid Melendez
Treasurer — Carlos Rivera
Secretary — Raul Moreno
Programming Committee — Jarmar Layne, Nana Asare, Sebastian Duque and Davongah Martin-Lewis.

(If you’re an alum of DC SCORES, become a friend of the alumni page, follow us on Twitter, or contact Miss Nikki at nallinson@americascores.org or 202.695.3260 to get involved.)

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