ALUMNI IN ACTION: 2009
A cornerstone of the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy is "LIVE. LEAD. Pass it ON!". We believe that leadership is personal, not positional and the biggest challenge is just taking that FIRST step. Often, leadership is inspired by hearing a story, reading an article, and learning from other acts of leadership around us. During our week together at the JFSLA, we help our students develop a "Leadership Project" that they will initiate in their own communities. They pick the project, develop a plan of action, and then bring their project to life in their communities. Here is a sample of some leadership projects that some of our students have initiated in their communities. We are proud of their decision to CHOOSE TO MATTER! Their actions will inspire more to take that first step.
Sneakers, sneakers, cleats, cleats! That’s pretty much all that I’ve seen the past couple of months with my community service project, and I love it! I collected use soccer cleats and sneakers for two different organizations, Peace Passers for the cleats, and Nike Reuse-A-Shoe for the sneakers. I held my collections at three different schools in my district, my town community center, and with a local soccer club, and everyone seemed to respond generously. With the help of my community I collected over 135 pairs of soccer cleats and 140 pairs of sneakers! All of the sneakers that I collected will be recycled and turned into different kinds of athletic surfaces such as turf soccer fields, tracks, tennis courts, and basketball courts. I really liked this because so many people just throw away old sneakers into the garbage but they could actually be recycled! Saving over a hundred sneakers from the landfills and helping people be more environmentally friendly makes me feel good. The most exciting part about my project was finding out where my cleats get to go with Peace Passers. Peace Passers is an organization that distributes soccer equipment to underprivileged people all over the world. The woman that I was in contact, Candace, from the organization told me that my cleats are going to Afghanistan to an American soldier who was trying to get donations of soccer cleats and equipment for the children there. I was super-excited when I found out. Imagine someone wearing my old soccer cleats on the other side of the world and being so happy! The soldier emailed me and expressed his thanks for organizing this project on my own and he said the kids there will be overjoyed to get the cleats, because they absolutely love playing soccer. I feel like I chose to matter and I’m going to make a difference in the lives of kids halfway around the world! This project worked out really well and I definitely want to do it again next year!
A while ago I sent the attached document about what I did with the grant money I was given. I used the money to make blankets for sick children in the hospital. Then I delivered them to an organization that gave them to the patients. Here is a follow-up update on how I am still continuing this type of project as well as some pictures of my friends and I on this project of the past one. About a month ago, I gathered up a group of 5 of my friends and asked them if they were interested in making blankets for children in the hospital. This time, however, I did not have a grant from JFSLA so we each made 2-3 blankets. At the end, we had a total of 11 blankets that we planned to deliver. This time I was hoping to give the blankets directly to the children in the hospital instead of just dropping them off somewhere. Since I participate in a social service group at my school that goes to Lutheran General Hospital once a week, I asked some people for possible information on delivery. Two of the girls I made the blankets with
as well as my younger brother were allowed to physically deliver the blankets to the children. At the hospital, we were able to make 11 children happier with their blankets. As we went around to their rooms, the children were in a wide range of conditions which varied the length of their stay. We gave each child a choice of any of the blankets we had as we went around, and as they picked them, you could see their excitement and gratitude as well as the family members'. It was so rewarding to see their reactions, and as I was walking around, my friends and I all agreed that this was something we wanted to continue again. I was so glad I got them involved in a project I did alone the year before.
Courtney Roggekamp (15)
I just wanted to keep you posted on my community service project, “Trumbull’s 2nd Annual Soccer Swap”. Like last year, I collected gently used soccer equipment from the community and cleaned them, sized them and sold them at the Soccer Swap last Saturday, April 24th to benefit the TOPSoccer program here in Trumbull which allows physically and mentally challenged kids in the surrounding towns an opportunity to play soccer. I am also a Buddy for the TOPSoccer program in Trumbull which is a lot of fun and its great to give back to the community.
I was able to raise almost $1,000 for the TOPSoccer program and almost $250.00 to be applied toward my scholarship fund. The response was so supportive from the community that I am holding the sale again this Saturday, May 1st to raise more money. My goal is for this Soccer Swap to continue in the community once I graduate high school.
In addition to selling the soccer equipment, I designed and sold “livestrong” type bracelets for my cause.
I was fortunate enough to attend your leadership camp at St. Mary’s this past summer and I want to let you know about my project and how it turned out. I loved the camp and I think my two favorite things were listening to Dr. Hacker and helping paint the house for Habitats for Humanities.
During last school year, our school district, like many in California, had to make some severe budget cuts to our high school athletics. Due to these cuts, we lost our freshman soccer team. We normally have about 80 girls trying out for our teams (freshman, JV and Varsity) and every year girls get cut, but with us losing our freshman team this year even more girl’s dreams of playing for their high school was not going to come true.
My idea for a project was to fundraise enough money to keep our freshman team. When I got back to school in August one of my first things to do was to talk to my principal and athletic director about what I learned at the Foudy camp and to explain my project. After a lengthy discussion, I understood that the decision to cut our freshman team was not going to change (for many reasons, not all monetary). But I was not about to give up yet. So, I asked them if I could raise enough money to pay for an assistant coach for the JV team (and any other costs it might take), could we could keep a very large JV team? They agreed and my goal was to raise $2000.00.
To raise this money, I wanted to have a BBQ and huge rummage sale. I had an idea for a location and got the owner of the property to let us use his space; found a service organization to do the actual BBQing; then got all my soccer friends to sell tickets and donate their stuff they didn’t need anymore to the rummage sale. We held the event on October 17th. Parents and coaches volunteered, players displayed all the stuff we had to sell and then helped serve food. And, we had a lot of fun (See attached pictures!). At the end, we had some items left over and we donated them to a women’s shelter. We had a great turn out and we raised over $2700.00!!
My varsity coach was able to find an assistant for our JV coach. We are hoping to use the extra money raised to get the JV team entered into another tournament this season.
Camp was such a terrific experience for me. I went there not knowing anyone and made some great friends. I played against two of them last Tuesday in a pre-season game. It was great to see them again!
Thanks for all you do!
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:)
**Despite not attending the program in 2009, Missy made the commitment to continue her JFSLA community service project.**
The junior high girls that were interested in playing high school soccer came to my house to make posters for the game. When they arrived, I gave them the Julie Foudy postcards that you sent (I also gave them to the high school coaches and club coaches to pass out). We had a raffle for the shirts and jackets - thank you for sending them as the girls loved them. The girls came to my high school soccer game and sat with the JV girls while watching the varsity girls play a soccer game. The junior high girls got to go into the locker room at half time and then went on the field and got their picture taken in front of the goal. Their posters were all hung on the railing at the game. I also emailed the junior high girls afterward thanking them for attending and attached pictures of Junior High Night to the email. The junior high girls and varsity players wore the “Second Annual Junior High Night” maroon t-shirts at my house.
The Second Annual Junior High Night was a success. Parents thanked me for having another Junior High Night and the girls said they had a great time. The junior high school coaches and my high school coach were a big help in making this event a success. They were excited to see the high school soccer players reaching out to these girls.