expr:class'"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

High school student creates nonprofit, donates soccer cleats to DC SCORES youth

Sarah Bair and Drew's newly outfitted soccer team. 
There are many ways you can contribute to DC SCORES. Whether through donating, volunteering, or interacting with us on social media (among other things), you're helping build teams for 1,500 low-income youth in DC. Sarah Bair is one individual who got creative in supporting our organization, using a grant to create a nonprofit and donate soccer cleats to Drew Elementary School and Kelly Miller Middle School (and more schools in the future!). Sarah, a junior at Bullis High School in Potomac, Md., recently took time out of her busy, cleat-donating schedule to chat with DC SCORES.


DCS: Tell me about the contest you won to receive the funding for Cleats for Peace?

Over the summer I attended the HOBY Leadership International Seminar in Chicago. The ambassadors were asked to come up with an idea for a nonprofit. I eventually had to pitch my idea to a few groups of people who each had to vote for the nonprofit they thought would be the most successful. Finally at the closing gala on the last night of the conference, seven including myself out of 432 ambassadors were chosen to receive a $250 grant to start their nonprofit.

DCS: How'd you come up with the idea of Cleats for Peace?

Soccer has always been an influential part of my life and I know many girls and boys are not as fortunate as I am to play. The idea to collect used soccer cleats and other gear was sparked due to the perfectly good pairs of cleats sitting in my garage not being used. So I figured why not give children/teenagers a chance to play soccer by using easily attainable donations. Through these donations I hope to inspire these athletes to not only stay physically active but also have a positive outlet, which is stressed in DC SCORES' main values.

DCS: What does giving back mean to you?

Giving back has always been a core value in my life. For the past two summers, I have gone on a week mission trip with my youth group to Nashville, Tenn., and then West Virginia this past summer. I think service is something everyone should strive to do on a regular basis, because in the end the work you put in is totally worth it. During the winter when I am not in (soccer) season, I am involved with my school's community service club. I sincerely enjoy the connection I make with the residents at a senior citizen home or the students at a school for kids with learning disabilities. Regardless, I believe community service is something all who are able should be involved with. The feeling of reward after giving back makes any act of kindness worthwhile. So Cleats for Peace is my personal way of giving back while allowing boys and girls to also enjoy soccer as much as I do.

DCS: What role has soccer played in your life?

I have been playing soccer since I was in kindergarten. I quickly fell in love with the sport and eventually started playing at a more challenging level. Although I do not have the intent to play in college, I know I will continue my love of the game with hopefully a club team. I do not know what I would do without soccer. I can always count on my teammates to make my day better, and anytime I need to take some stress out soccer is always the best method. My love for soccer continues to grow as I play for my travel and school team. Soccer is that one thing in my life that I can always count on to forget about everything else and just have fun.

DCS: What does it mean to you to provide kids with cleats who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them?

A Kelly Miller student rocks his new cleats!
I live in a privileged community and have never had an issue with the costs of soccer or equipment. However, I know not everyone is as lucky as I am. I want to give boys and girls the outlet and opportunity I have with soccer -- allowing children and teenagers to not only love the sport as much as I do, but get the physical activity and positive outlet necessary for a child to grow. For many kids there is a barrier between them and soccer. Without the proper equipment, they cannot fully engage in the game. By collecting and distributing the donations, I hope to break this barrier and allow these players to embrace soccer as much as I have.

DCS: Tell me more about the mission of Cleats for Peace and what you hope to accomplish?

My goal with Cleats for Peace is to give all children in the D.C. area who desire to play soccer the opportunity to do so (with cleats!). Because with soccer, these kids will gain physical activity, which is often not funded in their schools. Also along with being physically active, I believe it is important for children to have a positive outlet. So Cleats for Peace's mission is much like DC SCORES' because both strive to get kids physically active as well as stress self-expression.

DCS: What are your future plans (college, what do you want to go into?)

I have no idea what college I want to go to yet, but I am pretty sure I want to study Psychology. I love working with kids so I want a minor in Education to hopefully become a therapist to children in school. I have worked at a summer camp for preschoolers since I was 12 and often babysit. So I think whatever my career ends up being, if it involves children I will be pretty satisfied and will enjoy my job.

Learn more about the important work Sarah is doing by visiting Cleats for Peace's Facebook page

No comments:

Post a Comment