Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2017 – Kicking it Forward

Name: Juliana Ancalmo
From: damascus, Maryland
Grade: High School Senior
School: Damascus High School
Votes: 0

Juliana Ancalmo

It Forward

I’ve played soccer since I was six years old; growing up it is what has given me
confidence and lead me to live a more active lifestyle. In 2011, I
decided I wanted to give back to the sport that has shaped me into
the person I am today. I found a program called iSoccer, which tests
different skills of soccer, such as juggling and dribbling. After
combining all the scores for each skill, a player is given their
iSoccer level which coordinated with a color. I decided to set up a
iSoccer program with the teams in my community. Each week, I would
coordinate with a coach who wanted to do the test with their players.
I would set up the stations, demonstrate, and record players scores.
Although the program was meant to help build soccer skills, it became
a motivation to some players to practice skills by themselves in
order to improve their iSoccer score. I also needed to raise funds to
keep the program going, so I spoke to different organizations in my
community. In order to ensure the program’s success, I also held
training sessions where I would teach other volunteers who wanted to
get involved how to do and record the iSoccer test. Overall, I spent
3 years developing and helping raise funds for this program in order
to foster individuals skills and love for the game. I’ve spent
years volunteering for many events and organizations, however
creating integrating this program into my community was the most
rewarding, as I was able to witness the immediate growth of each
individual I worked with. One of the biggest challenges of running
this program was trying to coordinate working with the teams with my
own schedule. In addition to being the lead coordinator of this
program, I also had to juggle being a middle schooler and playing
soccer. Although it was difficult to manage, along the way I learned
valuable lessons that have influenced my life dramatically. I learned
early on the necessity of time management, which helped me to become
more productive as I went on into high school. I’ve also grown more
confident in front of adults, while also learning how to work with
kids. Through doing this project, I’ve discovered my passion for
working with young children, which is something I look forward to
pursuing in my future. Looking ahead, I want to find new ways to
motivate young children to become active and invested in sports,
whether that be soccer or any other activity. Although I am no longer
the head coordinator of the iSoccer program for my community, the
program still holds strong to this day. I still can see the change
within young players to becoming more confident with their skills as
time progresses. The love and passion for sports is something that
will never die within a person and it will continue to have a lasting
effect upon our community even as the years pass.

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