DC SCORES has more than 500 volunteers who help make our program possible for 2,500 low-income DC kids. From assistant coaching, to tackling our big events, to providing expert services and advice, to folding newsletters in our office, to reffing weekly soccer games, to taking photos and videos, and much more, our volunteers make a difference in many ways and with varying schedules.
Today we highlight Henry Mader, he is a brand new volunteer elementary school referee that started this spring season. He has been playing soccer for over 7 years and currently attend Blyth Templeton Academy. In addition to attending school and volunteering with DC SCORES, Henry also plays center back for D.C. United’s U17 Academy. Want to get involved like Henry? Sign up to volunteer HERE.
What are your plans after high school?
After high school I hope to go on and play soccer at the collegiate level while continuing to challenge myself academically. I have visited a few schools so far including Tulane University, Harvard, and Cornell.
What made you want to get involved with DC SCORES?
I was fortunate enough as a youth to have opportunities playing on soccer teams that helped develop my soccer skills as well as individual character. I feel that sports, and specifically soccer, has helped me grow and is continuing to help me grow as I approach my adult life. DC SCORES is an extremely unique opportunity for kids to play soccer in a fun yet structured environment with an abundance of positive mentors. I want to help these kids reach their full potential on and off the field as they navigate these early years of adolescence.
As a member of the D.C. United Academy, how do you see them getting more involved with DC SCORES?
I think that more and more players within the youth academy will continue to connect with DC SCORES, as they will be able to see the positive mark they can leave through the program. It is especially important for children to see how attainable their athletic aspirations are by seeing mentors only six or seven years ahead of them. This will give children who may not be subjected to the same opportunities as others, that glimpse of hope that can make all the difference in the world for them.
How has your refereeing experience been so far been with the elementary school poet-athletes?
So far my experience refereeing has been extremely positive. There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing that unshakable grin on a child’s face as they run around on the field. At the end of the day, soccer is only one aspect to this unique holistic experience these children are getting. You can tell a child is involved with DC SCORES as their manners, etiquette, and attitude is unmatched. It is so amazing to see these young athletes love for the game continue to drive and push them in all aspects of life as they blossom as individuals.
Tell us your favorite memory from a game day.
I would have to say that my favorite game day memory is when Miner Elementary was playing Thomas Elementary. The sportsmanship and supportive attitudes that were displayed for both the boys and girls games was amazing. Each time an opposing player would fall, the opposite team would offer a helping hand and supportive pat on the back. I attribute this to the unbeatable mentorship from DC SCORES staff, in addition to Coach G and Coach Jackson. I have also had great experiences working with Coach Curry of KIPP Quest, and Coach Forte of Burrville. Every game day is a special one, so it’s hard to pick a favorite!