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Monday, November 25, 2013

Volunteer spotlight: Emily Heddon, soccer coach at Cardozo Middle School

Each month, DC SCORES highlights a volunteer that has made a significant impact on the program. It would be impossible to give 1,500 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 Emily Heddon, who is completing her first season coaching at Cardozo Middle School -- and chose to do it as a volunteer!


DCS: Emily, tell us about your role at Cardozo?

As an assistant soccer coach at Cardozo, I am there one practice a week and on the game days. I feel like as a former soccer player I can contribute to improving the kids’ technical skills. Because they’re middle schoolers, they are past just learning how to dribble. So I have been able to teach them different formations and more complicated skills.

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

Right now I am a graduate student at American University getting a Master’s in International Communications. I did my undergraduate degree at Albion College in Michigan, where I played all four years on the soccer team as the goalkeeper.

DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?

I stumbled onto your website doing a Google search, and I had been looking for a way to get involved in the community. Soccer and community service was the perfect combination for me.

DCS: What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?

The combination of the soccer and poetry. Learning physical activity and self expression are definitely useful skills and habits that can be hard to develop, and is something the kids will be able to use throughout their lives.

DCS: Describe your most enjoyable experience volunteering for DC SCORES.

Last week at practice was probably one of the best moments. The kids didn't want to go in to eat snack because they wanted to stay outside and continue practicing. I don’t think my 12-year-old self would have given up snack for more practice, so it is really cool to see how much they love the game.

DCS: What motivates you to want to volunteer?

Community service has always been a part of my life. My mom has always been service-oriented and motivated me to do the same. I also just completed an AmeriCorps year in Michigan where I was a Resource Manager. I helped people in Michigan find social services and worked to build relationships with NGOs in the area. I just moved here after finishing that and wanted to connect to the community I am now living in.

DCS: What do you like to do with your free time?

Actually, I do a lot of homework, but I also play pick-up soccer on the weekends. My older sister just moved here too so we have been hanging out.

DCS: Who is your favorite athlete?

Growing up I would have to say Steve Yzerman, who played for the Detroit Red Wings. But within the past year I have really liked watching the U.S Men’s National Soccer Team. Michael Bradley is awesome. And obviously, as a goalkeeper, I like Hope Solo.

DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet?

I really like classic rock, so I can’t pick just one. My favorite writer is probably Ernest Hemingway.

DCS: What is your favorite food?

Ice cream and chocolate!

DC: Any other interesting information about yourself?

In college, my jobs included being a snowboard instructor in the winter and I worked on the boat in the summer.

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