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Thursday, February 7, 2013

AmeriCorps members use passion for youth development to run DC SCORES winter season

AmeriCorps members with DC SCORES staff.
This winter, we’ve introduced you to the DC SCORES ‘Power of Choice’ winter program. We’ve started to give you a behind-the-scenes look with our nascent series covering Thomson Elementary School. But we haven’t, until now, introduced you to the difference-makers behind the program, the coaches who make it happen every day at four schools throughout the District.

The winter program is run entirely by part-time AmeriCorps members who have picked up on the DC SCORES model quickly and strive to become a part of their respective school communities during the season. Here we let this diverse group of individuals passionate about youth development tell their own stories:

Marco Williams Thomson Elementary School
I am 24 years old from Portland, Oregon, giving back to his community by mentoring youth. My dream goal is to run my own non-profit for children that come from a single home and have no positive influences in their lives. Within my nonprofit, I want every child to know and believe that they have a dream and their dream will come true. The question I always find myself answering is "Why DC SCORES?” The reason I have chosen DC SCORES is because I have a strong passion with children learning about how to operate in a team and expressing themselves through writing. I'm a strong believer in not only learning math and writing skills but also a strong believer in teaching children about life skills. My healthy eating habits this winter season are cutting back on my juice intake, drinking more water, and of course inspiring my group of students at Thomson Elementary.

LaTamara Edwards Bancroft Elementary School
I am originally from Lexington, NC, but recently moved to the DMV to gain better opportunities. I recently received a B.S. in Criminal Justice and always wanted to work with youth in some way. I did a little research before I decided to move to the DMV area and stumbled upon AmeriCorps. I loved the program and all the things they do for the local communities in different states. That is what led me to DC SCORES, because not only would I get to give back to the community in a big way, but I get to interact with the youth whom are our future and it excites me to get to be able to get hands-on and teach them things that I learned growing up. I feel that this program is a great opportunity for someone to gain experience when it comes to working with youth but also helping change young people in some way.  Something that I will want my kids to know when it comes to making healthier choices in their lifestyles is to make sure that they drink plenty of water and exercise each day. It can be as simple as walking to go check the mailbox for their parents. That is a start.

Jessica Gilbert C.W. Harris Elementary School
I have lived in southeast Washington, DC, my entire life. My parents always taught me to be a humble person and never forget where I came from. So after I returned home from college, I thought of what would be the best way to give back to my community. DC SCORES was a perfect fit for me because it has given me a chance to inspire and influence children in my own urban neighborhood. I believe that everybody deserves an equal opportunity to achieve their goals despite their socioeconomic circumstances. In DC SCORES, I hope to help the children gain the self-confidence they need to achieve those goals and overcome any challenges which might come their way.      

Sheldon Biggs --MacFarland Middle School      
I was born on the island which is known as Jamaica. The reason I chose to do work with DC SCORES is the chance to work with children and the chance to learn and get better at the game which in America is called soccer. A healthy nutrition fact about me is that I don't eat fast food. I would rather eat foods that give me energy than food to get me full.

Tom Mason C.W. Harris Elementary School
I am from the D.C./Maryland/Virginia metropolitan area; however, I graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in African Studies. I chose this major because it afforded me the freedom to pursue any career path I desired. During college, I aided international students in adjusting to the American Way as well as led the African Student Association. Props to my Sierra Leonean heritage! Social services has really lit my fire. Community and country development is my true passion. DC SCORES attracted due to the work it does with the youth. Poetry, which strengthens communication and expression, and soccer, which strengthens teamwork, are vital parts community development. Beyond DC SCORES, I will either become a foreign ambassador or a director of a community center owning my own non-profit. For a whole year, I only ate vegetables my friends and I grew on our own.

Tommy Burke Bancroft Elementary School     
I am a student at UMD just outside of DC, studying English and History. After graduation, I plan on teaching high school history. I discovered DC SCORES while researching volunteer options in DC, and was excited to see it involved two of my passions, soccer and poetry. I am excited to have an opportunity to gain teaching practice while giving back to the community. My favorite health tip is to always start the day as healthy as possible, before things get too busy. I make sure to always eat fruits or vegetables at breakfast.

Interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member for DC SCORES? Learn about opportunities here.

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