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Monday, July 23, 2012

Coach profile: AmeriCorps member Terrell Clifford

This past year, a team of young adults has made a lasting impact on many DC SCORES students as new coaches. They joined our program through AmeriCorps and have juggled a variety of roles at schools throughout the District.

As their year winds down, we’d like to highlight one of the members who has made an indelible difference for youth in this city in numerous ways.

Terrell Clifford, who has coached at our newest school, Garfield Elementary; helped run the Power of Choice winter program; conducted research on our program outcomes; and so much more, took a minute out of his busy schedule to talk about his year with DC SCORES.


What coaching position(s) have you held during your time with DC SCORES?

I've been a "SCORES Corps" coach throughout my time with DC SCORES. This includes coaching/teaching soccer, poetry, service-learning, and nutrition.

During your year of service, what have you done outside of serving DC SCORES?

I spent most of my term preparing to attend graduate school. I was also able to do a bit of travelling during my time as well.

Why did you choose a year of AmeriCorps work? What does service mean to you?

When AmeriCorps was established almost 20 years ago, it was chartered with a very specific, yet profound mandate of service. True service — to those near and far, to those young and old, to those most disadvantaged — has been the driving force behind which so many men and women have sought to enact positive change. I want to be one such agent of change.

I am passionate about serving, in whatever way I can. Be it youth development and health or education and equality, I look forward to employing my experience and skills to better our world.

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

To be honest, my start in youth work was quite serendipitous. I wanted to serve, but I wasn't exactly sure how. I was made aware of DC SCORES through AmeriCorps and I then applied to an open position. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

I believe in providing youth consistent opportunities to learn and grow. As such, I approach youth development with the goal of a well-rounded childhood. I work with DC SCORES because it has a quality, team-based approach that instills self-expression, physical fitness, and a sense of community in all its participants.

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

It is always fun to be a part of the "big" events — Fall Frenzy, Poetry Slam! and Jamboree!. It is wonderful to have all the teams and coaches come together and showcase their hard work, team spirit, and love of the program.

Why is DC SCORES important to the school and the students it serves?

DC SCORES offers the basic elements of a childhood that many of its student-athletes would otherwise not be provided. By giving low-income kids in the District sport, spoken word, and the ability to feel empowered, DC SCORES molds well-rounded and confident individuals ready to improve their schools and communities.

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?

My most formative experiences were — I believe — a bit dissimilar to that of many DC SCORES youth participants. I was fortunate to attend schools that provided me with great opportunities not only academically but also athletically and socially.

What has been your most memorable DC SCORES experience?

It was amazing to go to WJLA Channel 7 and record an intro commercial for the station with my team! We had the chance to see the newsroom, the weather center and the control room!

Who is your favorite athlete?

Usain Bolt

Who is your favorite singer or poet?

Robert Frost

What is your favorite food?

Funnel cake

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