This month we highlight Eugene Schacht, a writing coach at Tubman Elementary School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. Eugene started as an assistant writing coach at the beginning of the spring season. When the head coach ran into a schedule conflict with her graduate school classes, Eugene stepped into the head coaching role without hesitation and is guiding the Toads through the culmination of their service-learning project.
DCS: Where are you from and where do you work?
I grew up in Fairfax, VA, and I moved into DC proper about six years ago. I work for Booz Allen Hamilton and I do IT for them.
DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?
I found a posting online for a volunteer writing coach opening and I thought it was a great way to get involved because I studied writing in school. I had been volunteering with Reading Partners for the past two years as well, and it sounded like a good segue.
DCS: What do you find most interesting about DC SCORES?
Definitely the fact that you combine writing, soccer and service-learning all into one experience. I think the combination is pretty rare and really valuable because it helps kids discover new interests they might have never known they had.
DCS: Describe your experience volunteering for DC SCORES.
It has been great, both extremely rewarding and extremely challenging at times. As a volunteer coach it is definitely more difficult building relationships with kids than it is for teachers from within a school, which is why your model is so great. But I have learned that if you put in the most you can give, the students will recognize that, and in this way I have been able to form relationships with the kids. Now it is going to be just me and these kids for the final two weeks of programming and I feel confident because I have seen them progress through this service-learning project and improve as a team working together on the field as well.
DCS: What motivates you to want to volunteer?
Giving back to people and playing a bigger role in the community. I have never really been one to focus on myself, and my mom was similar and encouraged me to do the same. She never really hesitated to lend a hand.
DCS: What do you like to do with your free time?
I work out a lot and I like to write and read. I am big into music too and I play guitar and piano, so I also like to go to a lot of concerts.
DCS: Who is your favorite athlete?
My favorite athlete is Peyton Manning because he studies the game completely and he puts everything into it, striving to always do better.
DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet?
I don’t actually have one, it is too hard to pick one. I like people who can take big ideas and put them into a few words.
DCS: Fun fact?
My wife and I have four cats, Jillian, Miss Tortie, Duster and Firebird.