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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Volunteer spotlight: Eric Karita, Jefferson Middle School soccer coach

Eric Karita, Jefferson Middle School

Each month, DC SCORES highlights a volunteer that has made a significant impact on the program. It would be impossible to give over 1,450 students throughout the District the quality programming they receive without the help of our volunteers. To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit www.DCSCORES.org.

This month we highlight Eric Karita, who volunteers as a soccer coach at Jefferson Middle School, the lone school in the SW quadrant of the District. Eric recently took a few minutes off from teaching soccer drills to talk about his experience volunteering for DC SCORES.


Are you currently employed or a student? If so where?

I am currently unemployed. I graduated from Buena Vista University last December in Iowa. I am from Rwanda but moved to Ohio for high school. Since I am an international student, I am not yet permitted to work. After I graduated, I moved to DC. I have been coming here twice a year anyway and I really like it here a lot.
How did you get involved with DC SCORES?

I was looking online for ways to volunteer and I found DC SCORES. I looked it up more and it seemed like something I would want to work for. Soccer is my passion and I like to work with kids, so the soccer program was very appealing – it is something I have done all my life.
How long have you been volunteering with DC SCORES?

I started volunteering in the first or second week of March.
Are you planning on coaching for DC SCORES again in the future?

If I am DC I will coach again.
What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?

It’s the fact that DC SCORES is trying to help these kids be more active, work with their community, and bring them out of their comfort zone. That, I really like.
Describe your most enjoyable experience volunteering for DC SCORES.

One of the kids said to me that having this program enables him to do something good for himself, to stay active, to help him with his fitness and leadership. It was really nice to hear him say that.
What motivates you to want to volunteer?

I like to make a difference in people’s lives, and since soccer is my passion those two make me want to volunteer.
What do you like to do with your free time?

I play soccer with friends. I play pick about 4-5 times a week and on weekends sometimes. I like to socialize with friends, read books, listen to music, watch movies, exercise every day, and do research on things I should be doing with my life (laughs).
Who is your favorite athlete?

Zinedine Zidane – He’s retired, but he used to play for Real Madrid and France.
I watched him as I was growing up starting when I was young. I liked what he was doing on the field, he made sure everyone on the field was having fun and he was always pushing himself harder.
Who is your favorite singer or poet? What music are you into right now?

I like all kinds of music, except country and rock – and music from all over the world. Music with a beat that makes me want to move.
What is your favorite food? If you could only eat one food for the next month, what would it be?

Rwandan-style chicken.

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