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Monday, December 28, 2015

15 stories to celebrate 2015

Wow, what a year it's been. Thanks to your support, you have seen DC SCORES build teams for more kids in more DC communities than ever before! We've forged new partnerships, celebrated the many successes of alumni now in college, given out myriad awards — both to poet-athletes as well as coaches and volunteers — and so much more.

This is never an easy task, but below in link, photo and video form are our Top 15 from 2015. Please help us continue to grow and serve more DC kids with a tax-deductible donation before the ball drops Dec. 31

Thank you!


No. 15 — Lincoln Middle School visits the White House

In February, Lincoln poet-athletes had the special opportunity to visit the White House for the President's ceremony with the MLS-winning L.A. Galaxy as well as the NHL-winning L.A. Kings. The kids not only got free gear from the Galaxy but got to ask questions of the professionals!

Photo album

No. 14 — Jency and Leron take on the Big Apple

It was a weekend they'll never forget. In April, poet-athletes Jency of Barnard Elementary and Leron of Imagine Hope Community Charter School took the train to New York City for the 9th Annual America SCORES National Poetry SLAM!. There, they made friends with kids from 13 other cities; ate NYC-style pizza; played soccer in Central Park; and performed on stage at the Reuters Building!

BLOG diary
Photo album

No. 13 — Celebrating our coaches and volunteers

Our 200 coaches and 400 volunteers are the people who make SCORES possible for the poet-athletes. That's why the SCORE Awards in May is such a special night. As is custom, we spent the evening at LongView Gallery celebrating the incredible people who change the lives of DC kids!

Photo album

No. 12 — Creating change throughout DC

At Truesdell Education Campus, students ran a campaign to clean up their school. At Raymond Education Campus, students got their hands dirty creating from scratch a school garden. And throughout the District at 40-plus other sites, DC SCORES kids made a difference in their communities through service-learning projects!

Photo album
Truesdell blog/video series

No. 11 — A HUGE Jamboree! celebrates spring season 

There's no better way to celebrate the spring season than with the culminating Jamboree!, which was bigger than ever with 2,000 people congregating at Anacostia Park for an action-packed Saturday of nonstop soccer games as well as family-fun activities such as facepainting, arts and crafts, highlighting service-learning projects, and much more!

BLOG recap
Photo album

No. 10 — A DC SCORES Cup for the ages 

The DC SCORES Cup keeps getting bigger and better. In 2015, more than 500 DC professionals met at the Maryland SoccerPlex for a day full of soccer games, teambuilding, fun and supporting DC kids.

BLOG recap
Photo album

No. 9 — Summer SCORES! 

Summer camp doesn't get much better than with DC SCORES. During three action-packed camps (free of charge, as always), kids picked up new soccer skills, made tons of friends, learned new arts disciplines (T-shirt screening, dancing!), went on field trips, and kept their bodies and minds fresh and engaged leading into the fall season!

Photo album

No. 8 — Alumni success stories

Summer is also special for DC SCORES because we watch alumni of the program head off to college — many the first from their families to do so. Such was the case for three young women whose stories we documented: Nijah, Ingrid and Claudia!

Nijah's story
Ingrid's story
Claudia's story

No. 7 — New members of our team!

In September, we welcomed six new staff members (not pictured above but in D.C. United photo below: Travis Worra) to our team. We take great pride in embodying the values the program instills in kids — teamwork, leadership, commitment — as a staff and also having a fun culture, and the additions have fit in really well!

Podcast with new staff

No. 6 — A huge partnership made official!

On Oct. 1, we announced a partnership with D.C. United that included consolidating with their United Soccer Club to serve more students through our program model. In the three months since, we've already gained greater visibility through being the charitable soccer arm of the Major League Soccer team and look forward to a very bright future together!

Press release

No. 5 — Volunteer explosion at Fall Frenzy

Yes, there were 1,000 elementary school kids at Trinity Washington University for the 18th Annual Fall Frenzy in late October — there were also hundreds of volunteers in their yellow shirts, demonstrating perhaps more than ever on one day how many people in DC are committed to and passionate about DC SCORES. Because of the volunteers, the action-packed day ran as smoothly as could be asked!

Blog recap
Photo album

No. 4 — An afternoon with the USWNT

In late October, Brightwood Education Campus poet-athletes got a treat when they visited President's Park just south of the White House for a soccer clinic and photo shoot. They learned skills from U.S. Women's National Team coach Jill Ellis, and then gasps ensued as the entire World Cup-winning team from the summer walked toward them across the grass. Minutes later, the kids were asking questions of Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach and getting autographs from Megan Rapinoe, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press. It was an afternoon they'll never forget!

Blog recap
Photo album

No. 3 — Meet Christian, all-star volunteer

There's a staff member we forgot to mention in No. 7 — Christian. During the past year, the now-sophomore in high school program alumnus has become a volunteering fixture at our office almost every day after school. Christian embodies DC SCORES' core values, brings a smile to the office every day, and also excelled as a summer camp counselor. Thanks for all you do, Christian!

Blog profile

No. 2 — Capital Cup champions relish the journey

When Capital City Public Charter School got a mini soccer pitch built this fall, members of the DC SCORES middle school team started coming to school early every day to play. So it's no surprise that CCPCS' dedication paid off and the girls team bonded together to win the Capital Cup middle school championship in late November. The same could be said of the Raymond Education Campus boys team that often practiced so hard, coach David Peterson had to tell his kids to tone the intensity down a bit. The strong soccer communities at both schools held up trophies on Nov. 24.

No. 1 — Hope Avenue at the Poetry Slam!

The season-culminating Poetry Slam! in early December never ceases to amaze and inspire, and this year's 18th edition more than met such expectations. During a time of turmoil and despair in the world and on a day when yet another mass shooting occurred in this country, students took the stage at Columbia Heights Education Campus and reminded us — the adults in the audience — that there, indeed, is a bright future. They guided us down "Hope Avenue" while celebrating each other's similarities and differences.

And that was just the first night of the event. The second night at H.D. Woodson High School, the students exemplified the message guest poet Malachi Byrd had for them at the show's onset: "I am powerful! I am enough." Just watching one or two of the 37 performances over the two nights, one thing was clear:

DC SCORES poet-athletes are powerful, proud, and much more than enough.

From our team to yours, thank you for an incredible 2015. We can't wait to share an extremely exciting future together!

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