Gatorade Player of Year donates winnings to DC SCORES


Inspired by her father, Claire Constant grew up wanting to help others. Thanks to her accomplishments on the soccer field, the rising senior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria is now making a tangible difference locally.

After being named the 2016-17 Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Constant learned of DC SCORES and chose to designate the organization for the $1,000 award — an amount that provides a full year of programming for an at-risk child in the District.

“I had heard reference of DC SCORES and then when I saw the website and the impact you have on DC children’s lives, I was excited to support the organization,” Constant said.

Her coach Cindi Harkes, the wife of longtime DC SCORES and America SCORES supporter John Harkes, validated that she was making a great decision.

The rising senior, who has committed to play college soccer for Virginia, was inspired to create change in the world by her father who grew up in Haiti, moved to the U.S. at 17, and learned English along the way. He started the Haiti Micah Project, which addresses the needs of impoverished and uneducated children in Haiti.

“My dad is my inspiration,” Constant said. “Almost 500 children a day have a hot meal, access to clean water, and access to education through the Haiti Micah Project. I am able to see how much he impacts the lives of the children of Haiti. I want to be able to do the same.”

She already is. Constant, who is a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women’s National Team player pool, recognizes the opportunity she’s taken advantage of to play organized soccer and wants to help provide similar chances to play for kids such as those in DC SCORES.

“I know not everyone has the same access to great local sports programs or the financial resources to make it accessible,” Constant said. “DC SCORES represented an organization that would provide access to soccer for those kids where economically it’s a challenge.”

Constant can’t imagine her life without soccer and hopes others get to enjoy similar experiences.


“Soccer teaches you not only how to kick a ball but to work respectfully with your teammates and coaches on good and bad days,” she said. “It teaches you how to respond to frustration and obstacles. And it teaches you the importance of having something to work for.”

Knowing that $1,000 means DC SCORES for a kid currently on the sideline, Constant is only further motivated to succeed and inspire others.

“It makes me want to work harder to help more children,” she said.

Thank you, Claire!

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