|Oliver Steinglass (lef) and Ben Alers.|
DCS: Where are you from and where do you work?
Ben: I was born in DC, but when I was eight I moved to Costa Rica. I moved back a couple of years ago and I am now a rising sophomore at Sidwell Friends School.
Elayna: I am going to be a freshman this fall at James Madison University and I am originally from Summerville, New Jersey. I plan to study special education.
Oliver: I am originally from DC and am going into 11th grade and I attend Washington International School.
DCS: How did you get involved with DC SCORES?
Ben: My brother volunteered as a summer camp counselor last summer and he really enjoyed it and he recommended that I volunteer as well.
Elayna: I am a part of Mitzvah Corps DC through the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and as a part of our program we were able to pick from many organizations to volunteer with for the week in an effort to learn about social justice.
Oliver: My mom told me about DC SCORES after reading the Washington Post article.
DCS: What do like most about DC SCORES?
|Elayna Cross (center) with summer campers!|
Elayna: This a completely different world from where I grew up, which was a very privileged town. Being in a place where sports and arts programs are a privilege and not something that is guaranteed has provided a whole new perspective for me.
Oliver: I think it is awesome to interact with kids that I wouldn’t normally interact with on a daily basis.
DCS: Describe your experience volunteering for DC SCORES.
Ben: This has been a really positive experience. The kids are very energetic and the other counselors have been very welcoming.
Elayna: It has been amazing to see how two days can make such a difference, and how the kids already trust me and know me.
Oliver: It has been great having a leadership role at a camp as opposed to being a camper.
DCS: What motivates you to want to volunteer?
Ben: Working with kids and helping them improve their soccer skills.
Elayna: Seeing the way something as simple as spending one day with youth (can make a difference). Social justice is also a big part of my Judaism and the reason I am here.
Oliver: I wanted to have a different experience because I play soccer all the time, but I have never used it to give back to others.
DCS: What do you like to do with your free time?
Ben: I like playing soccer and reading. I play travel soccer for Bethesda and I also play for my school team.
Elayna: Volunteering is a large part of my free time. I started a soccer program for kids with special needs in my home, so that takes up a lot of my time. I also like to dance and play soccer.
Oliver: I play travel soccer with Arlington and I play for my school’s varsity team as well.
DCS: Who is your favorite athlete?
Ben: Joel Campbell, a Costa Rican soccer player. I like him because he is a great player and my brother played with him on the U-17 Costa Rican national team.
Elayna: Misty Copeland, she is a dancer. She started dancing in Boys & Girls Clubs when she was younger and now she dances for a prestigious company in L.A. She has now dedicated her life to giving underprivileged youth the same opportunities she had to excel at dance.
Oliver: Tim Howard is my favorite athlete because he is a good ambassador for soccer in the U.S. because he is one of the few who plays abroad. I also play goalie, so he is an awesome role model.
DCS: Who is your favorite singer or poet?
Ben: My favorite band is Weezer.
Elayna: Mitch Albom wrote “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and it is about how some people who come into our lives make a lasting impression. I would love to be able to say that I had that same impact on someone, that Morrie did on Mitch Albom.
Oliver: My mom is a poet and she writes children’s poetry, so I have to say that she is my favorite.
DCS: Fun fact?
Ben: I just completed an Outward Bound trip, where I spent two weeks in the wilderness backpacking through North Carolina.
Elayna: The coolest thing about me is that I was blonde when I was born but now I have naturally dark brown hair.
Oliver: I lived in Hong Kong for three years starting when I was in sixth grade. I speak Chinese and am still taking Chinese classes in high school.