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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Volunteer spotlight: Steve Christensen, DC SCORES coach and videographer

DC SCORES has more than 500 volunteers who help make our program possible for 2,200 low-income DC kids. From assistant coaching, to tackling our big events, to providing expert services and advice, to folding newsletters in our office, to reffing weekly soccer games, to taking photos and videos, and much more, our volunteers make a difference in many ways and with varying schedules.

Today we highlight a volunteer, Steve Christensen, who has made an incredible impact in just over a year involved with DC SCORES. Since seeing programming for the first time, Steve has aligned with our mission and goes above and beyond with every project he takes on. He's served as an assistant coach at two schools -- Tubman and Powell -- and has aided fundraising and communications efforts by shooting and editing several videos and also taking photos. Last spring, Steve was one of our Volunteers of the Year for his dedication to the organization.

Check out some of Steve's videos below, and get to know him through this Q&A. Sign up to volunteer like Steve HERE! 

Steve Christensen's videos


Q&A with Steve Christensen

What do you do?
I am a PhD student at UMD studying molecular and cell biology.

How long have you been volunteering with DC SCORES?
About one year and a few months. The first time I got involved was last summer, where I took pictures at camp and put together some video.

How did you first get involved with DC SCORES?
I heard about it through Jake (Lloyd) from November Project (and a staff member). He was always talking about it. You know how he is.

You have helped expand our capacity in so many ways. Can you name a few of the different ways that you have volunteered with us?
Sure, yeah. I take photos and videos, make highlight reels for special events and camps, and have done the videos for the Get in the Game Breakfast the past two years. I also have volunteered at special events like Fall Frenzy and Jamboree! and always try to get a group of friends to come out with me. I have also coached -- I coached at Tubman last year and this season I am currently coaching at Powell.

How has your time with DC SCORES impacted you?
I’ve always wanted to coach. I grew up playing soccer and having a role model as a coach was always important to me. Giving back to the community working with DC SCORES has changed the way that I view my community. It’s not just a place that I live in, but I now have an active role not just in my neighborhood but in a network that impacts DC in general.

What do you love most about DC SCORES?
The method in which the program incorporates not just soccer, but service-learning and poetry together with soccer is ingenious. I think it really is more than just a soccer program, I don’t know how to describe it. It is a community program where kids are getting so much out of it. They might not leave any good at soccer, but they have a community team that gives them a place to go after school, friends, and role models. I love the combination and the way I see it helping the kids.

Favorite DC SCORES memory?
It’s all good. Here’s one. When we were at Fall Frenzy last year, one of my students at the arts table wrote me a thank you letter -- specifically to me. I still have it up on my fridge actually.

What motivates you to volunteer?
The fact that the kids are always excited to be there and always smiling. That shows you the impact that you have just by being there.

What do you like to do in your free time?
November Project takes up a lot of time. I co-lead the DC chapter and November Project is in 32 cities currently. I’ve been doing that for three years now. I play soccer myself in an amateur men’s league. Hmm. I’m also a runner, so I train for races. I spend a lot of time hanging out with my fiance and our dog.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of the month, what would it be?
Cheesecake. No, (actually) apple pie. I could never get sick of apple pie.

Who is your favorite athlete?
I don’t know if I have a favorite. Usain Bolt is pretty great. I am also impressed by Clint Dempsey and what he has done with his career.

What is your karaoke go-to?
I don’t do karaoke a lot. But it would probably be Billy Joel or Justin Timberlake.

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