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Monday, March 3, 2014

Volunteer spotlight: Jamil Decker, soccer coach at Garrison Elementary 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 Jamil Decker, who began with DC SCORES as a soccer referee and is now a coach at Garrison Elementary School. Decker's trajectory shows how quickly you can get deeply involved with DC SCORES by beginning as a volunteer!


DCS: Where are you from and where are you currently working/studying?

I grew up in Maryland and I work at the Penn Office as a patent examiner.

DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?

I played soccer with a friend who was involved and she told me about the organization. At the time, I was volunteering for another mentoring program and I had some very rewarding experiences with that. DC SCORES has been an even more perfect fit because it suits my love for soccer and it has allowed me to stay involved in the community.

DCS: What inspired you to switch from refereeing to coaching?

I had been refereeing consistently at Garrison Elementary School and at some point in the season I found out that their coach was unable to continue in his role. The school is right down the street from my house so I figured I should take over some of the coaching responsibilities while I was at it. Now I will be their head coach this coming season!

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

Probably the Poetry Slam because I got to see the kids that I work with on the soccer field that are normally reserved go up on stage and perform in front of hundreds of people. It was pretty cool.

DCS: What motivates you to want to volunteer? 

I think that kids need different perspectives and really benefit from spending time with people who grew up in different situations from themselves. Kids are still impressionable and I feel like I can make a bigger difference because of that.

DCS: What are you most excited for this season? 

When I first started coaching we tied a bunch of games, but I am excited because we should have even more kids coming out this season and hopefully we can get some wins.

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

I DJ part-time and I play soccer in a bunch of leagues around the city.

DCS: Who is your favorite athlete? 

Probably Deion Sanders. I just remember watching him when I was growing up and seeing his touchdown returns and touchdown dances.

DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet? 


DCS: What is your favorite food?

Chicago deep dish pizza

DCS: Any other interesting information about yourself?

I was in a rap group in college.

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