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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coach profile: David Pharis Owens, Thomson Elementary School

David Pharis Owens
Soccer and writing coach, Thomson Elementary School

How long have you been with DC SCORES and how did you get involved?

About five or six years. I got started after volunteering at Jamboree!.

How did you get into education or start working with youth?

I started working with youth in high school at the Maryland Soccer Academy summer camps and then progressing on to work for The Benjamin Banneker Institute for Science and Technology. There, our goal was to increase the number of minorities involved in science, technology, engineering and math.

Why did you choose to work for DC SCORES, what attracted you to the program?

From the volunteer work I was doing, I loved the cause. Seeing the smiles on all the kids' faces, it was something I just totally wanted to be a part of.

Now that you’ve been doing it for a while, what do you enjoy most about it?

The students. Being a mentor to the students and having that relationship with alumni, passing them on the street and them saying, "Coach Pharis, this is what I'm doing now."

What I enjoy most is the joy of being a positive influence in a person’s development, especially a young child.

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?

What really stuck out to me was at that soccer camp. Also, my high school soccer coach Sam Debone at Walt Whitman High School knows my relationship with the kids and how they love me, and he was like, "You definitely should go into education. Him making that comment, it didn't really click until recently."

What’s your most memorable DC SCORES experience?

This past Poetry Slam!. This is the first full season I've been a service-learning/poetry teacher as well as soccer coach, so working with the kids to prepare material for the Poetry Slam! was pretty interesting and fascinating to see how talented they can be. The stuff they were coming up with was pretty intriguing.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Pele. In our generation, he was that soccer player that everyone wanted to emulate. When I was in high school, myself and two of my friends had an opportunity to meet him.

Who is your favorite poet?

Langston Hughes and Mos Def

What is your favorite food?

Porterhouse steak with broccoli and orzo.

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