Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Impacting lives through soccer

Name: Sebastian Castro Toro
From: Orlando, FL
Grade: 12th
School: William R. Boone High School
Votes: 13

At the beginning of my junior year at Boone High School, I initiated
the International Futbol Club, a soccer-based group, that focuses on
supporting the local community through soccer. My idea of creating
this club, was at first, to embrace the great passion I have for the
sport. Yet, through time I’ve realized the magnificent impacts that
can be accomplished. Since the club’s school-teacher sponsor is an
active coach for the Special Olympics Florida’s program at Boone,
I’ve gain interest into working along their educational platform.
Thus, in 2015, my club organized the first annual Soccer Clinic at
Boone High School, for which Special Olympics Florida contributed
with a one-thousand-dollar sponsorship for equipment, field rental
fees, insurance, food, and more. We had a great turnout of volunteers
and participants. A time later, I engaged the club into participating
on the 2015 Relay for Life of Conway event, which fundraises for the
American Cancer Society’s nation-wide functioning. For that event,
I took advantage of the new local, MLS soccer team, the Orlando City
Soccer Club, from which we requested magnets, and alongside with
chips, we sold them to achieve the objective of Relay for Life. By
the end of that school year, I contacted a recruiter from Orlando
City Soccer to share with the club’s members his life-story in the
sport. It was an amazing experience for many, and for a few it deeply
made a difference in their life’s. As a matter of fact, a few weeks
later I recommended a new classmate, who came from Brazil, to be part
of an elite recruitment camp by OCSC. Today, he is part of the
National Youth Pro Academy, sponsored by U.S Soccer.

By this time, I’ve gain knowledge of numerous aspects that are essential to
managing an organization. At first it I struggled, but thanks to the
great support of a group of friends, who are active officers of the
I.F.C, I managed to “keep up with work”. I taught myself on the
different Microsoft programs needed to elaborate plans, invoices,
flyers, and more. I also, took charge of reaching out to
organizations for community events, sponsorships, and volunteer
opportunities. Certainly, the most challenging aspect of this
volunteer work, has been pressure for my club to outstand, despite
the few experience my team and I had over this matter.

Through these past 2 years I have learned many skills, and have experienced many
remarkable accomplishments, that has shaped my life and career. I
have made strong connections with organizations like, Orlando City
Soccer Club, Orlando Venues, Orange County Public Schools, Special
Olympics Florida, among others, to which I am very grateful for their
continued support. I feel very satisfied with the impact the group I
initiated has made in many people. Therefore, I may say with good
certainty that my effort is not stopping here. I’ll expand it to
reach all corners of this earth, to help anyone in need, no matter
under what conditions.

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