At the end of every session, we ask the students to complete evaluations of every aspect of the program. We are also fortunate to receive several emails and letters from parents whose daughters attended the JFSLA. We have included some of our favorites below!
Subject: To all Who Made this Past Week Amazing...
Please forward this e-mail to all staff who made this past week at JFLA an amazing one for my daughter….
Before any time goes by and life gets busy, I have to write to you all.
My daughter, Shawn, had a remarkable, amazing, memorable week in Oak Brook. It was her first time at Julie Foudy, but I’m sure
it will not be her last. She’s hooked and so am I.
Until she just collapsed on the couch a minute ago, she hasn’t stopped talking since we picked her up.
She made friends whom she loves.
She worked hard.
She thought a lot.
She had so much fun.
There is nothing more that I can ask for as her mother and I want to thank you ALL for such a great program.
Your enthusiasm, skills, planning and dedication have made a difference in my daughter’s life, both on the soccer field and off.
It was a great week. Congratulations on a job well, well done.
Your vision is wonderful and it is becoming reality through the girls that you touch and inspire.
THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart. I know my kid was in excellent hands and had an experience that will be with her for a lifetime.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep up the good work with our future’s women……it’s good stuff.
Melanie arrived safely and is thrilled once again to be at camp, she loves going. I went to bed early last night and woke up to a text message from Melanie. I wanted to share because Julie and the entire staff, as well as Amy, have helped her as well. This is what she sent:
”Mom I just want to say thank u for sending me to JFSLA for all these years, honestly I wouldn’t be the person I am today if u hadn’t pushed me to try new things and to go to this camp...My first year I said about 5 words but this year, my 4th year I am a totally different person...I am not only helping girls out, but I hope I’m inspiring them to become great leaders...I even spoke today at the night session and wasn’t even nervous, I love u and u r the greatest mom in the world thank u for being amazing, luv u goodnight
Thank you so much, I had tears in my eyes after reading this.
JFSLA, Julie and staff
We are anxiously awaiting the start of another wonderful Chicago camp. I wanted to pass along a little story to you and Julie.
Yesterday Shannon graduated from 8th grade. We kind of laughed in that most kids growing up in the suburbs of Chicago finish 8th grade, so that in and of itself wasn’t too much of an accomplishment. Given that it is middle school, which I believe are the three hardest years of adolescence, they should have instead handed out survival badges!
They had a recognition ceremony for the kids and we were so proud to see Shannon receive two awards. The first was from the PE department - where she received the C.A.R.E award. This award was given to one boy and one girl who demonstrated care, attitude, responsibility and enthusiasm. She totally learned the enthusiasm part from Julie! The second award she received was the Thomas Alva Edison Leadership award. The name of her middle school is Edison Middle School. We were very proud of her for this recognition and are really grateful JFSLA taught her these skills and gave her so much support.
This past year, Shannon wanted to do a JFSLA project, but her confidence was a little shaky. She was sensitive to the amount of attention her diabetes project received and although she was proud, attention isn’t what a middle schooler wants when they walk down the halls. We watched her struggle with wanting to be her own person and let her light shine but also deal with the reality of middle school when kids can be really mean and it is a tough time of growing. She decided to tackle both problems with one project. She worked with her principal and a few friends and on a day off of school, they went in and covered the school with positive messages. They put over 700 notecards on the lockers and put up posters all over school with words of encouragement and praise. The girls decided to do this anonymously because they wanted to the focus to be on the messages and not on them. It took them two weeks to write the notecards and about 4 hours to plaster the school with their words of encouragement. I have attached a couple of pictures. Shannon told us, if just one kid heard the words they needed to hear on just one bad day, that was all that mattered to her. She knew she would never know which kid needed it and got it, but she was confident someone needed it and she wanted to make sure they got it.
In the fall, she is onto high school. She made the choice not to attend our local public school with all of her friends. Instead, she chose to attend our local private school with a little tougher academic standards and higher expectations. We know she will do great! We really can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for her thru JFSLA. You have given her the tools and the confidence to follow her heart. She has met so many wonderful role models on the staff. At such a critical time in her development, we are so blessed that she was able to learn from and witness so many people making the right choices. She regularly corresponds with Amy and we sit right behind her at the Chicago Red Stars games. Shannon really looks forward to seeing her at every home game. This summer Amy has invited her to come help at the Easter Seals and Shannon can’t wait. All of these blessings are because of JFSLA and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you for all you have done and know as you enter another busy, crazy summer - you are making a huge difference in the lives of everyone of your campers! My daughter would not be the person she is today without JFSLA and we are so proud! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Mary Beth Moran
Dear JFSLA staff
......More importantly, I wanted to just write you this short note to pass along her thanks (and mine). She had a fabulous and truly transformative experience this past week. I have to say that I’ve never before seen her so eager to share and talk about her experiences. She’s already informed us that next summer will be entirely organized around the JFSLA camp for her (and her sister)!
Anyway, thanks again for your help and flexibility with everything.
I hope you are well and continuing to enjoy your summer with your family. I wanted to let you know what a great experience the camp was for Kimberly. The day we got home she walked me through her journal without me even asking and showed me the videos that she watched during the main sessions. She also recently—in a very passionate way—pointed out that what she learned at camp is that the best way to give feedback is to have only one person give the feedback and to say the feedback nicely. I am so impressed by the fact that not only did she improve in her lacrosse skills she improved in her life skills.
Thank you again and hope to see you next year.
From the bottom of my heart I would like to THANK The Century
Council and everyone else involved in helping to send me to the Julie Foudy
Leadership Academy in New Jersey! It was a great experience. This camp
taught me the importance of opening up and living outside of my comfort
zone, it helped to further instill in me the desire to make a difference in
my community and lastly it gave me the confidence to go make things happen
in my life and others.
This camp changed my outlook on life. I have attended a lot of camps and
this camp by far had the nicest people and biggest impact. I believe I've
made friends for a lifetime. Each days activities were based on a theme and
on Community day my group worked with the New Jersey Special Olympics. The
ages of the athletes spanned from 6 to 38. My group set up relays and a
scrimmage that we all participated in and had a blast with. The time spent
with the Special Olympians put a smile on their face and mine. Each of them
wanted our signature on the ball and shirt that they received so they would
always remember us. I loved camp so much that on my second day there I
mentioned to my mother that I'd love to return next year. The JFSLA is
something that I want to be apart of for years to come.
During the week we a have to come up with a "Choose to Matter" service
project that we will start in our own community once we return home. A
healthy lifestyle, child hood obesity and hunger are all things that are
important to me. I've decided to raise money to help fight childhood
hunger. I will donate this money to the organization No Kid Hungry. I plan
to get everyone around me involved in making this happen. I am so thankful
for each of you and the staff at the JFSLA for helping me to realize that I
can make a difference now! Thank you again!!
I just want to write and thank you for the wonderful week of camp. My daughter (Kerri Driscoll) had the best week. She enjoyed the camp and Julie so much. I was hoping you can let Julie know that Kerri came home from camp and has been so inspired by Julie and the entire camp. She has not stopped talking about camp and all the amazing things she learned. Thank you and we hope to be back next year. Amy Driscoll
We corresponded a few months ago when you kindly took the time to give me a quote about sports and leadership for a HuffPost piece I was writing on the topic. My daughters, Caroline and Noel Jones were at your New Jersey camp last week. They were initially skeptical, I think. But they rapidly overcame any hesitancy. I believe Noel's proudest possession at the moment is her photograph with you. Each day, the girls agreed before hand who would get the joy of telling my husband and I about what transpired, especially the surprise Skype call with Abby Wombach - a hotly contested reporting.
I write every day about "women's issues" (a phrase I actually try and avoid usually!) and try to make sure that all three of our girls are exposed to feminism, women's history, art, sports, etc. However, nothing my husband and I can say about these topics, or even the activism that I engage in daily, is as important as what you accomplish at your camp just by doing what you do and providing everyday role models of women who work hard and accomplish greatness and men who support their endeavours. I watched my older daughter, also an avid player and a dedicated fan, realize how slim the opportunities for girls are as they get older. It was sad to see her dawning realization of the marginalization that we experience in culture. Fighting the invisibility of women as you are is so crucial. Personally, I don't think it is possible to underestimate the effect on girls, of cultural erasure, as they leave the private sphere and enter the public. People are concerned about teen girls' eating disorders and depression. I think we should call a spade a spade and talk about anger and how to turn it into positive action and change. The girls are very excited about their projects, something that would never have happened at all if not for the vision and catalyst you and your staff provided.
So, thank you to you and your wonderful staff, for all you do!
I hope you are well and continuing to enjoy your summer with your family. I wanted to let you know what a great experience the camp was for Kimberly. The day we got home she walked me through her journal without me even asking and showed me the videos that she watched during the main sessions. She also recently--in a very passionate way--pointed out that what she learned at camp is that the best way to give feedback is to have only one person give the feedback and to say the feedback nicely. I am so impressed by the fact that not only did she improve in her lacrosse skills she improved in her life skills.
Thank you again and hope to see you next year.
I know I am sending this mid-camp week and things are probably hectic and you are running around. But I was wondering, when you had a chance, if you could pass this along to Julie and the rest of the staff.
My name is Mary Morrisey and I attended JFSLA for the past two years at Peddie. Recently my team won the CT State cup and we are headed to Regionals in RI tomorrow. This is very exciting, but I am not able to be at Peddie for my last year of camp which makes the whole experience very bitter sweet.
I first heard about JFSLA from my friend Alanna Lynch. I saw all her pictures she uploaded on Facebook and told my parents very sternly that I am going next year no matter what.
My anticipation was so high in the weeks leading up to the camp, and when the day came I was bouncing off the walls excited about the week ahead. Turns out I had no idea as to what was in store for me. That first year I learned so much about myself as a player, as a person and about the person I wanted to be. But it was not until last years camp when I truly began to understand everything I was being taught at the camp.
As a player my confidence was lacking because I was hardly playing on my new team and my coach and I did not see eye to eye. One of the first talks we heard was Leslie Osborne. She spoke about her experiences coming back from injuries, and dealing with the fact that she worked so hard for months at training camps, putting in everything she had, and was not picked for the team World Cup (I believe) Team. I related with her so much and was able to take a step back and look at myself as a player and realize that even the best players deal with the same issues. The only thing I could do was continue to work hard and keep improving as a player.
I was so grateful for my team last year. They were such a positive and inspiring group of girls. They made my experience unforgettable. I was pretty proud that three of the top four finalists from Peddie, I believe, were from team South Africa. Also the coaches I had were some of the most incredible women I have ever met. Sarah Strickland, Karli, and Carolyn were simply the best. They pushed us on the field, and in the classroom and really wanted the best out of all of us.
Meeting the girls from Magic Bus was easily one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I was lucky enough to have Projecta on my team and have all the girls living on my floor. They were some of the happiest, joyful people I have ever met. Some could barely speak English, yet they never let that hold them back. I am Facebook friends with all of them, so I am still able to see what is going on in their lives. Thank you for giving me that opportunity to meet them.
One of the most important things that JFSLA has done for me is foster in me a love for service. I go to a Catholic school and service hours are a required part of the curriculum. But I can honestly say, I used to look for the easiest way to get them done and I looked in the most unrewarding places. JFSLA has made me realize how inspiring and rewarding service is, if you do it with love. Working with the Special Olympics NJ soccer team last year was easily the highlight of my week. Because of my experiences at camp, service projects have become a huge part of my life. I am now a Vice President in the Special Olympics club at my school, and my friend and I are running a SO soccer camp at my school next month.
Over Spring Break, I was luck enough to have the opportunity to volunteer down in Clintwood, Virginia for a week helping to rebuild and repair houses of poverty stricken neighborhoods. This was one of the most rewarding experience of my life and it really made me put my life into perspective and realize how lucky we are.
One last service 'project' I am extremely proud of, is being chosen as a Youth Ambassador for the Get in Touch Foundation. The Get in Touch Foundation is an organization whose goal is to help educate young girls on Breast Cancer Awareness and how to do breast self exams. I have taken on this position and done my JFSLA Project with this organization. I held a Get In Touch PINK Day at my school and raised money for the organization. It is such an incredible organization run by an incredible woman, and I am so happy and lucky to be apart of it.
Being around such positive role models at the camp has made me want to strive to be the type of people that you all are. Some times when I see Julie on ESPN, I think, "Wow, I hung out with her and played with her children." Or I think about how I was chatting with Leslie on the couch one day. But it is not the fact that they are famous and have incredible careers, it is their hearts and kindness that I want to emulate.
JFSLA has made me realize that we cannot live our lives passively. We cannot sit back and watch as our lives go by, not being active members in them. I am going to be really cheesy and use my schools motto right now: Privilege and Responsibility. It was a privilege to attend this camp, and now it is my responsibility to go and and use the things I learned in my life. I hope I have done this and continue to do this every day.
I am sorry this was very long and dragged out, but I did not not know to express my gratitude properly. I cannot thank everyone involved with JFLA enough for making me into the young lady I am today. I hope to come back a help at the camp one day. Wish I could be there this week.
Marnie and Julie, thanks for the wonderful updates throughout the week. Victoria was smiling from ear to ear and could not say enough about what a wonderful experience she had!
Valerie Gray Francois
From Fabienne Vidal, mother of Melanie Jelen
I wanted to thank everyone, once again, for yet another great camp. Melanie has not stopped talking about her week. The highlights, Easter seals, Amy's speech and the ride to the airport with Julie. She loves going to camp and can't wait till next year. She's all set with her community service project and can't wait to share it with her classmates. The enthusiasm for helping others and the leadership skills she brings back, have helped her grow into an amazing young woman. As her mom I notice the change but when everyone around her notices, it's incredible what everyone has done for her and all the other young girls. Thank you so much.
I am writing to thank you and your organization for creating and maintaining the Choose to Matter Contest. My nine year old daughter was one of the very lucky people who benefitted from this charitable event.
A special young lady, Melanie Jelen, chose to support the non-profit organization Children's Tumor Foundation which conducts research on Neurofibromotosis (NF). I am hoping that in my daughter's lifetime, a cure for NF will be found. It is an organization like yours and leaders like Melanie that will make this happen. I feel blessed that my daughter and her disorder were recognized by so many through the course of this contest. Awareness is an important step to finding a cure! I hope the Julie Foudy Leadership Academy and the Children's Tumor Foundation continue to help those in need.
With sincere thanks,
My daughter, Julianna Lignowski, just attended your camp in Chicago last week via a scholarship. I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for the wonderful opportunity you have given to her. She really enjoyed her week with you guys. She is still talking about all the people she met and things she learned and can't wait to start working on her project. Just wanted you to know you made her summer!! Thanks so much........
My daughter, Claire Martin, was at the Chicago camp. She absolutely loved the camp, and hasn't stopped talking about all the things learned and the people she met. She is looking forward to her starting her project. I would like to thank you so much for everything. I believe it will prove to be a life changing experience and I sincerely hope Claire will be a part of the camp again next year.
Marnie – my daughter (Lola McAllister) LOVED camp last week! THANKS! The girls are already scheming about returning next summer (including winning the World Cup again)… Thanks so much. Again, our girls LOVED the camp and we hope to see you
next year. Have a great year!
I attended JFSLA at Peddie for 4 years in a row, but unfortunately I could not make it to camp this year, but I still want to say thank you. When my dad first signed me up for JFSLA when I was 12, I argued and screamed and yelled asking him to let me stay home. I was nervous and I didn't know anyone else who would be attending camp that year. I am now 16 and I thank my lucky stars that my dad forced me to go to camp that year. To put it simply JFSLA changed my life. When I came back after my first week everyone noticed a change, from my parents to my coaches. I was more motivated and generally a much happier person. Today camp still influences me everyday. I now strive to be the best I can possibly be in everything I do. JFSLA has undoubtedly shaped me as a person, and I would not be who I am today if I had never showed up 5 years ago. Camp (and of course Girl Talk) also helped me steer clear of alcohol and drugs. I remember the moment during Julie's speech 3 years ago when I made the final decision that I would not drink, and I have stayed true to that. So, I could not thank you and the rest of the amazing staff enough for guiding me in everything I do. I have learned so much in the 4 weeks I spent at camp and I would do anything to be there right now. Hopefully there will be a way I can make it to camp next year for one last week as a camper. I hope every girl at JFSLA this year can feel some of the magic that I felt when everyone at camp got up and sang "Lean on Me" together, one of the many priceless moments I had the privilege to experience at camp. Finally a special thanks to Julie, one of my greatest role models, for showing me and so many other girls who have come through JFSLA that they too can be leaders.
Hi Julie: I just wanted to express my deepest thanks to you and your husband for what you do for these kids. I had the opportunity to speak to a few parents yesterday and this year my daughter and her friend had yet another friend and member of their team attend and ALL parents are of the same feeling on this camp. It is just so worth it! What you said yesterday to the parents that it is your wish to have someone say "this week changed my life" I'm sure will be true. However, remember this, most of these girls will not go on to play professional or even college soccer, but what you give to them they will definitely carry with them the rest of their life and this is what us as parents see in the week they spend at your camp. Also, you may not change a girl's life but you most certainly ENHANCE their prospectives and promote them to be the best person they can be. As with my daughter, well I notice a huge change in her and in discussing the camp this morning I can see how it has effected her. The girls from the Magic Bus had a big impact on the 3 girls from the Poconos as well as I'm sure the other girls. It really showed them the other side of life. It's one thing to read it in a book but to actually talk to the person who lives it, well that is just priceless!
My daughter would like to say that her coaches (Colette and Chris) were awesome and she hopes they will be back next year!
So in closing I just want to thank you again for all you are doing for these girls and we'll see you next year!!!!
mother of Mariana Azevedo
2nd year returner
All of you are amazing! Truly. You ladies should be so proud of what you have built for the little ladies of today's society. Everyone one of YOU did your job brilliantly. You all did it with a genuine smile that made the girls and their families feel comfortable. From the moment we got to Peddie, which I think her name is Erin??? blonde lady with the cutiest little baby on her hip. She went out of her way to find you and knew we were coming late on Sunday and was prepared to see us. Katie, who was so ready to help Jacqueline get squared away and make sure Jacqueline did all her meds. Also, Jac said Sarah was also so helpful with Jacqueline's meds. To the counselors that had to combat the creatures that visited Caroline and Erin's dorm room and put them at ease. Not an easy job. To all the trainers, Jac enjoyed the soccer end of the Camp and said she learned tons. But most importantly, Jac truly enjoyed the leadership part of the Camp. Jacqueline could not wait to show me her notes she had taken over the week. She loved listening the Leslie Osborn and her journey to the Olympics. Jacqueline has come home from camp wanting to be a better human being. So many life lessons. One quote I loved for Jacqueline's age group was something like "Someone is not your best friend until you can trust them". Can't tell you how many times I share with Jacqueline that "actions speak louder than words". But to hear them from Julie Foudy, they are stuck in her brain forever. As you know, us moms are not cool and really are not sure if they are listening when we speak.
As a mother of three girls, We LOVED THE LEADERSHIP PART. In today's society where everything is technology. (Which we know is a good thing as we lived for those nightly videos. Especially when Jacqueline was homesick the first night and we were second guessing ourselves on whether we should have sent her until we saw the smiles on her face during the day. Those nightly videos are the BEST!!!!!) But, I believe kids forget what it is like to have a face to face conversation with someone. Everything is texting. I loved how you had them do public speaking, how to greet someone hello with a handshake and a smile looking someone in the face. The simple things that we take for granted as that is how we had to grew up. Yes, us old people over 40.
Julie, Thank You for taking time out of your very busy life to put this camp together. You are a true gem. The kids just truly adore you. Your staff looks like they adore you as well. From an outsider looking in, it seems that YOU make them feel so comfortable and at ease. That easiness rolls over to the kids. Hope that makes sense and I just did not ramble. Also, thank you for giving Jacqueline that inspiration award. Presently, she does take good care of herself but our fear is that when she hits the teenage years she will be too busy socially that taking care of herself will be put on back burner. Hopefully, looking at that autographed Hot Pink cleat will remind her....
Bottom line, Thank You for giving Jacqueline the Gift to be a better human being on this planet earth. Oh yes, and want to be a better soccer player as well.
We would like to thank you and the rest of the staff at last weeks camp for all your help in making Rebecca experience amazing. Rebecca mentioned that it was her best soccer camp she ever attended. Coming from a 16 year old who is somewhat reserved, that's a huge complement!
I haven't seen (Rebecca) so happy and she already mentioned that she would like to return next year!
When you have a chance, please thank Julie and the rest of the staff for creating an incredible experience for Rebecca and the other campers.
From the bottom of my heart I would like to THANK The Century Council and everyone else involved in helping to send me to the Julie Foudy Leadership Academy in New Jersey! It was a great experience. This camp taught me the importance of opening up and living outside of my comfort zone, it helped to further instill in me the desire to make a difference in my community and lastly it gave me the confidence to go make things happen in my life and others.
This camp changed my outlook on life. I have attended a lot of camps and this camp by far had the nicest people and biggest impact. I believe I've made friends for a lifetime. Each days activities were based on a theme and on Community day my group worked with the New Jersey Special Olympics. The ages of the athletes spanned from 6 to 38. My group set up relays and a scrimmage that we all participated in and had a blast with. The time spent with the Special Olympians put a smile on their face and mine. Each of them wanted our signature on the ball and shirt that they received so they would always remember us. I loved camp so much that on my second day there I mentioned to my mother that I'd love to return next year. The JFSLA is something that I want to be apart of for years to come.
During the week we a have to come up with a "Choose to Matter" service project that we will start in our own community once we return home. A healthy lifestyle, child hood obesity and hunger are all things that are important to me. I've decided to raise money to help fight childhood hunger. I will donate this money to the organization No Kid Hungry. I plan to get everyone around me involved in making this happen. I am so thankful for each of you and the staff at the JFSLA for helping me to realize that I can make a difference now! Thank you again!!
Hi Marnie... Kristina Ruble had the best time.. she cannot wait to come again and her younger sister is dying to go now too! Thank you so much for allowing her to experience this camp. She said it is the most moving experience in her life so far! Can't get better than that!
My husband & I, along with our friends' whose daughter is Alexis' roomie, were quite impressed with coaches you introduced today. Not just because of their athletic credentials but because they are such excellent role models for our young daughters. They were moms, teachers, scholars, philanthropists, world travelers, etc. It shows our girls that they can be anything they choose when they work hard towards their dreams & goals.
Of course, please share my comments w/your staff as needed. In fact, once Lex's soccer practice resumed, she commented that the camp really helped her with strategic positioning, thinking about the next move, etc.
We've already recommended JFSLA to some of her teammates & friends on other teams, so we hope to be back next year!
I just wanted to write and pass on a big thank you to everyone at the JFSLA camp, for four wonderful summers for Kate. She has just heard about a few things music-wise she has coming up this summer, and is very excited about it all. But unfortunately it means she cannot go to any of the Foudy camps this summer because they conflict. So, I think this is probably it for Kate at Foudy.
Kate just heard that she got another full scholarship to Berkley for mid-July to August, and in mid-June she got a grant for another prestigious summer music program. Also, she is playing at a very large summer music festival with a band, which one she can't announce yet.
Please pass on to all of the staff how much Kate has loved the camps and everyone involved. It has definitely been a big impact on her. The people have made a big impact on her and inspired her. It is strange to me as a parent that other nearby parents with daughters don't send theirs to your camp, despite Kate's raves about it, our whole family thinks it is fabulous, and we wish there had been something equivalent for her brother. In addition to all things about the camp itself, Kate has repeatedly told all of us is how Julie Foudy was such a huge fan of Sister Hazel and Ken Block, and how special her reaction was a couple summers ago when Kate told her some of the things he said to Kate, because Kate sees them as the same kind of person. We think that Kate is so fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact with both of them.
I know you all know about Kate's children's cancer fundraiser projects, which while she never raised enormous amounts of money, she did it all herself and learned a lot from all aspects of it including that every dollar counts for charities and also the exposure the charity gets from kids doing events. Lately it has been very exciting around here...Kate also wrote a song last spring for Earth Day, which she now has up on iTunes to raise money for earthday.org. Yesterday she was contacted by Earth Day, and they are having her to Washington DC this Sunday to play at the big Earth Day festival.on the National Mall. We see Kate as very mature for her age, with a lot of depth of character, and in many ways we attribute it to her time spent with all of you!
Kate no longer can manage fitting in travel soccer, but yes she is still loving and playing some soccer... Again in large part due to your camps, we know soccer will probably somehow always be a part of her life. Your camps have kept it glorious for her...We all view your program as so well thought out and first class all around!
Best to all of you at JFSLA,
Just a quick note to let you know that Yasamin continues her active leadership role in Afghanistan. She is the Team Manager now for the National Team, and she has been asked to become their coach. Unfortunately there is no salary and daily transportation cost running $20 as she lives in a rural village outside Kabul.
Last week there were four days of tournaments. Of the 22 girls on the National Team, only eight, including Yasamin, are not on any other team. The eight unaffiliated members played against the other teams, and won 4-0, 9-0, 11-0, and 3-0. Yasamin scored 23 of the points. She was recognized for her skillful play.
As March 21 was her birthday I spoke to her to see how she is doing. She could have stayed in the U.S., but she opted to return to Afghanistan to be with her family. Both her mother and father are ailing. Yasamin is formally engaged and hopes to get married later this year. She like everyone here is worried about the direction of Afghanistan, and uncertain as to what she should do about the dangers that lie ahead. She finds pleasure doing some teaching, and in her soccer play.
Duaine GOODNO | ARG/ARGS
Director of Operations
You know, I just wanted to tell you how much of an effect JFSLA has had on Emily's life.
We found out a year and a half ago that Emily had a tumor on her spine. At first, we didn't know if it was malignant or benign. After what seemed like an eternity, she had a biopsy done, and it revealed it was benign, however it needed to be removed, due to the size and location of it. Shortly after it was removed, she worked hard, recovered, and went to JFSLA 2011, feeling pretty good. She was positive throughout the entire experience. She attributed a big part of her positive attitude to things she had learned from her first trip to JFSLA in 2010 - self confidence, having a positive attitude, overcoming adversity, working hard, etc. Emily has always been a great kid, however, what she took away from JFSLA was priceless. The self-confidence she learned at such a pivotal time in her life, was a huge blessing.
The scholarships Emily has received mean so much to our family.
Thank you very much.
Please pass this email along to Julie Foudy and all who were involved in making this year's camp in NJ such a success.This was my daughter Mariana's first time--Monday night she texted me..."Mom..Can't call..BEST CAMP EVER!!! I can't even express in words the difference this has made in my daughter. She talked about the camp the entire 2 1/2 hour trip home and the next day. In fact she's still telling all her family about it. I asked her if she wanted to go back next year and she didn't hesitate. "Oh yea Mom...I'm going back!!!" This is all because of the excellent staff and the "outstanding" program! The project is such a wonderful idea and just the entire overall program. Mariana said in reference to the Peer Pressure on and off the field..."Mom, I learned things I never thought about!" You can be proud because from what I heard on Friday morning from other parents and campers...you are making a difference in these girls lives!!--and
we mother's sincerely appreciate it! Also, Marnie: I just wanted to express my thanks to you for always answering emails promptly and when we had the issue with the refrigerator, I couldn't believe how fast you solved that problem. This camp is rated A+ in my book from the very beginning until the end. Keep up the fantastic work and you'll definitely being seeing us next year!!!
I wanted to take some time to thank everyone at camp. I picked up Melanie yesterday and was amazed at much she had learned in a week's time. She not only loved the soccer but everything that was involved in become a leader and making her a stronger person. She is very excited about her community service project and explained all the details to me on the car ride home. She can't wait to come back next year and learn more about how she can help and how she can grow as a leader, on and off the field. She loved going to the YMCA and as already decided to volunteer at her neighborhood YMCA.
A special thanks to Pags, who happens to be a goalie like Melanie. She has inspired her to keep going, she said to me "Pags is my best friend, she is amazing". Thank you everyone for making her first camp experience this amazing. She will be talking about it till she returns next year.
My daughter, Emma, just returned from her first JFSLA session at the Peddie School in New Jersey. It was her first time away from home and while I was a little nervous about that, after the first session, hearing from Ian Sawyer, Carla Overbeck, and the rest of the staff, I knew we had nothing to worry about.
Every day, in our brief conversations (since they are kept very busy!), we could hear both the excitement in our daughter's voice and her enthusiasm for the opportunity to "matter." By day two she was referring to Carla Overbeck as "Carla," and relaying the personal stories that she and your amazing staff shared.
She just got home yesterday and has already applied for a Julie Foudy grant and contacted the Interfaith Council for Homelessness of Morris County, NJ to get going on her community service project.
She also developed as a soccer player and fully enjoyed learning from such incredible players. In fact, she now aspires to play on the US National Team!
What an awesome program you have developed--Emma can't wait to come back next year and her 9 year old sister is counting down the time until she can also go.
Thank YOU for making such a difference in our daughter's life!
I just wanted to thank you and the entire JFSLA staff for creating such a wonderful experience for my daughter Catherine and her teammates. They were so inspired and full of enthusiasm toward soccer and community service when they came home. I am truly impressed by the professionalism that each and everyone of you exhibited before, during and after the session.
We will definitely be considering the JFSLA again next year.
Dear Julie Foudy and all other coaches, counselors and people associated with the Foundation
My daughter, Madison, had the pleasure of attending your Chicago camp last week, and I’m writing to say Thank You.
After school let out last month, Madison went to a week-long soccer camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and came home saying that “it was one of the best weeks of my life.” Well, after picking Madison up at the airport last week and listening to all her Julie Foudy camp stories, the Academy memories have taken second place – a distant second – in Madison’s memorable summer moments.
It all started in late spring when Madison announced to us that she was applying to attend a summer Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy session. I forgot all about it until I had the pleasure of speaking with Kerri McClellan who called to verify Madison’s application status (it’s nice to know my 20 years of military service is still appreciated) and to say there was a strong possibility of Madison receiving a scholarship. I can’t thank you enough for that. Without your scholarship, Madison’s dream of attending your Leadership Academy would have remained just that and I would have been denied her endless smile as she reminisces about all her Chicago experiences. Thank you, again, for being such a positive influence on my daughter.
Thanks so much for all that Julie and everyone JFLA academy does for young ladies. My daughter, Sarah Cox, has been to the camp 3 times. After a particularly ruff weekend of PLW league play followed by a teenage girl Monday where she doubted if it was all worth it, she wrote the following in preparation of practice to share with her teammates after the tough weekend. I thought Julie and the staff might appreciate it:
"We play even though it takes away our hopes of ever balancing the game with school and a social life. We play even though sometimes we can't even stand the thought of running down the field again. We play even though most Americans don't understand our addiction. But in the end, we play because we know we love the game and could never give it up. We are soccer players."
Sarah's leadership and passion for the game has grown immensely since her involvement with JFLA. I can't thank you enough.
Thank you so much for all of your help this summer. Brianna had a fantastic time and learned so many skills and life lessons. Thank you again for your assistance.
If you would be so kind as to forward this email to Julie. I would certainly appreciate it.
First and foremost, I don’t know where to begin to thank you for organizing the INCREDIBLE camp that you and your staff put together each year. Brianna Crowe’s experience at your camp this year in Chicago was, in a word, AWESOME! She learned skills and practical lessons in life that she would not have learned by going to one of the local camps here in Alabama. Once again, I thank you so much for the skills, values, and the chance to meet you and all of the other guests you had at this camp, she learned so much from all of you. A special thanks also to Marni and Kerri, who made it so easy and were so helpful in guiding us on what to do, so that our girls could obtain their scholarship. Once again, thank you, all of you!
Denise S. Crowe
You guys are awesome! My daughter called this evening to report that she had a GREAT first day - and that this camp is above and beyond any other camp she's attended!
(I'm not surprised)
Love the nightly video/pictures.
Thanks for doing what you guys are doing!
My daughter, Morgan Schmitt-Morris, is at the leadership camp right now. I just wanted to tell you that I get goose bumps every time I watch the videos you send to parents. I knew that Morgan was going to have an amazing time, but I did not know that her experience was going to be extraordinary. As Morgan prepares to enter the scary world of jr. high, I'm not sure that she could have received a better gift. As a high school teacher myself, I wish that all of my female students could share in the experience my daughter has been fortunate enough to enjoy.
Thank you again for all that you and everyone at the camp has done for my daughter.
I know that during camp we ask the students to become something greater than themselves. Thank you for asking the same of us. Just thought I would let you know what I am doing because of the impact that Academy has on me:
Brighid (JFSLA Staff member)
Hey Julie!! Well this is Sandy Phan.. I was a former jfsla attendee. I believe i attended the years 2006 and 2007. Well this is me updating you on my life and all its going ons. Well lets just start with a thank you for all that you and your camp have taught me. I left your camp brewing with confidence and teeming with ambition and it’s not at all a bad thing. I also learned lots of positive things that helped me on my way. I believe one of the most helpful so far has been fake it till you make it. I have indeed made it! Might I add also that I choose to matter So just so you know I am now 19 and am in college. I attend Golden West Community College. I am currently the starter goal keeper and possibly a captain for next year. I am doing things to help advocate for current and former foster youth. I was the Orange County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) first ever Outstanding Youth of the Year. I was in the Orange County Register and also on the Dr. Phil show. I have been giving speeches and speaking to groups of people about giving time to help children who have been neglected and or abused. I am and officer for three clubs on my school campus. I am currently taking on two projects one which helps former foster youth in college and another to help mothers who have children and are attending college as well. So I have a pretty full plate. I felt like I should let you know how I was doing and of course thank you for all that I was taught while on a scholarship at your camp.
Hoping all is well where you are
Sandy Phan also know as Sandy Phantastic:)
excerpts from student evaluations from Academy attendees (first name and team name they played for at camp!)
“I thought it was really interesting how we got to be coached by professional soccer players who went through all that we are going through.” (Jalo, GERMANY)
“They have shown me to always be myself and help everyone around me. They have made me laugh so much this week, and all I want to do is pass it on.” (Shay, CHINA)
“The staff is amazing and motivating. Leaving this camp, I feel inspired to make a difference in my community and hopefully eventually, the world. I feel I am more confident as a player and have learned to “love the skin I’m in!!” (Rachel, CHINA)
“The evening talks impacted the way I think and have no doubt improved my leadership and personality. The soccer sessions included drills that incorporates learning and had effective ways of teaching us skills.” (Megan, CHINA)
“This camp has affected me so much because I used to just sit on the couch and watch the day go by, but now I want to make a difference in the world to be a leader and a great soccer player. I have also learned so many more soccer skills that I can’t wait to use on the field.” (Mackenzie, IRELAND)
“This camp has affected me. I feel confident and strong. I am a leader. I also fell in love with soccer more which I didn’t think was possible. I pledge to choose to matter, and I found my voice.” (Krysta, USA)
“They gave me drills, advice, and confidence to being back to my home teams and influence them to be better leaders. I want to get my soccer team involved in a community service project and I would never have thought of doing that without this camp.” (Annie, USA)
“I came to this camp not knowing what it would offer. I never knew they would apply soccer and it’s concepts to real life so greatly. I was impressed and it definitely improved my soccer skills as well as my self-character.” (Stephanie, USA)
“This camp and its staff are amazing. I don’t always get this kind of encouragement, advice, or exposure during the school year. It inspired me to be a leader, a public servant, and be a better person. It is my happiest and favorite week of the year.” (Casey, USA)
“It has affected me positively, I want to take everything home with me and really work hard for my varsity team. As captain, it is really important to take what I learned and teach it to others.” (Samantha, NORWAY)
“The staff all seems like they were so connected and all on the same page about making sure we got something out of this, and making it the best experience possible: it worked. I will take everything I learned from this amazing staff and incorporate it into my life.” (Bridget, USA)
“Its taught me that doing good stuff for others makes you feel great about yourself.” (Maggie, MEXICO)
“Up until the age of 13, every summer I would go to a soccer camp and hate it because I would always feel excluded and the first time I came here, it was amazing. Best camp EVER.” (Emily, GERMANY)
“It has influenced me to make whatever difference I can in the world, and to not be afraid to try anything.” (Aly, GERMANY)
“This camp has helped me so much becoming a leader and known how to deal and act under pressure situations. Also they have influenced me to always follow my dreams, never give up, and to be quick, but don’t hurry. I just want to say, I am so blessed to have this opportunity.” (Charlene, USA)
“Personally, this camp has affected me in my personality and truly the way I am inside and out. It has changed my perspective towards other and my feeling towards other fellows. It has changed me to be a better person.” (Dalia, MEXICO) CA:
“The one word I would use to describe my experience at JFLSA would be inspiring. Here, your staff and team mates are constantly encouraging and challenging you to push yourself, try your best, and achieve your goals.” (Emily, NIGERIA)
“This camp has helped me to feel that every comment that I make has an effect on how a team or group looks at me as a leader. Consequently, I feel more apt to encourage and speak up on and off the field. Also I feel like I am truly able to make a difference.” (Arikai, GERMANY)
“It has made me more confident and vocal on the soccer field. I feel like a stronger player and person.” (Maddie, IRELAND)
“I came last year and I went back a better person, but I was still shy and now this year, I feel like I’m totally a different person of the field. Maybe I has more courage to step out of my comfort zone, which I am how comfortable with.” (Alondra, GERMANY)
“I can’t believe how different I feel, I want to make a difference now. Before, it was like, yeah, I’ll donate some money, but now I’ll choose to matter.” (Lena, NORWAY)
“It has taught me to be more courageous and to not care what other people think because being ‘cool’ isn’t always the right was to fit in. Be yourself!” (Molly O, CHINA)
“This is my first time coming here and let me tell you I had so much fun here. I didn’t want to leave here I had so much fun!” (Kimberly, SWEDEN)
“I have become more confident, better at controlling my nerves, performing under pressure, and being thankful for the life I’m living.” (Kelsie, ENGLAND)