2022 included the return of in-person poetry slams, the organization’s most successful One Night One Goal gala, and a World Cup commercial placing DC SCORES poet-athletes at the center of this year’s biggest soccer story.
2022 was an important year for DC SCORES. More students than ever participated in the organization’s award-winning after-school program, which expanded to over 80 sites serving more than 3,000 poet-athletes across the District.
The end of COVID-19 restrictions enabled DC SCORES to host its first in-person poetry slams since 2019 and its biggest-ever One Night One Goal fundraising gala, which raised a record-breaking $440,000.
2022 also provided unprecedented opportunities to introduce more people to the work of DC SCORES thanks to a series of high-profile engagements with the Washington Spirit and D.C. United, an exclusive collaboration with FC Bayern Munich at Audi Field, and a donation of a 30s World Cup commercial slot for international network America SCORES from the tournament broadcaster FOX Sports.
Look back on some of the top DC SCORES moments from 2022 and learn more about the organization’s work this year.
The Washington Spirit Reveals Official DC SCORES Challenge Cup Jersey
Washington Spirit players Gaby Vincent (left) and Tinaya Alexander (right) pose alongside DC SCORES Senior Advisor for Arts and Culture Charity Blackwell in the exclusive DC SCORES Washington Spirit jerseys. Photo: Xavier Dussaq.
On March 18, NWSL club and DC SCORES official community partner the Washington Spirit unveiled that DC SCORES would feature on the front of the team’s 2022 Challenge Cup jerseys. The exclusive kits represent the then-defending NWSL champions’ longstanding commitment to District poet-athletes and built on the club’s expanded support for DC SCORES during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a donation of the team’s prize money from their 2021 Challenge Cup third-place finish.
“I love DC SCORES because poet-athletes can express themselves not just physically, but creatively and emotionally as well,” said Spirit forward and DC SCORES Board Member Ashley Hatch. “We’re incredibly proud to be repping them on our jerseys.”
Players including U.S. Women’s National Team stars Trinity Rodman and Andi Sullivan wore the kits during the Spirit’s Challenge Cup campaign. Photo: Xavier Dussaq
DC SCORES Honors Coaches and Community Leaders With an Awards Ceremony at Audi Field
The Houston Elementary School coaching team poses with D.C. United player Tony Alfaro after receiving a Teamwork Award. Photo: Lily Damico
On May 3, DC SCORES wrapped up the 2022 spring season with an awards ceremony that recognized the dedication and accomplishments of coaches and other members of the DC SCORES community. Hosted at Audi Field, the SCORES Awards were attended by special guests including Director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs Jackie Reyes-Yanes, her successor Eduardo Perdomo, and D.C. United star Tony Alfaro.
Award recipients included Kimball Elementary coach Donovan Fields, who won one of the Coaching Excellence Awards; the coaching team at Houston Elementary School, which received a Teamwork Award; and first-time coach at Capital City Charter School Ronald Granados, who was a winner of Rookie of the Year!
The ceremony celebrated members of the DC SCORES community and was attended by local government officials, including Omar Guerrero, Jackie Reyes-Haynes, and Eduardo Perdomo from the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs (L-R, right photo). Photos: Lily Damico
Poet-Athletes Deliver Powerful Performances at Our Words Our City 2022
DC SCORES poet-athletes and alumni performed in front of a packed audience at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Photo: Cody Cervenka
On May 24, DC SCORES poet-athletes and alumni shared top billing with some of the DMV’s most respected poets for the annual DC SCORES Our Words Our City poetry showcase. Hosted at the historic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Our Words Our City featured performances from eight SCORES students and alumni who shared their original spoken word poetry with audience members at the sold-out auditorium.
Months of preparation went into the performances, which explored issues ranging from mental health, transgender rights, and friendship. The poet-athletes’ powerful deliveries featured alongside a special performance from professional poet, national bestselling author, and DC-native Elizabeth Acevedo.
The audience enjoyed performances from professional poet Elizabeth Acevedo (left) and DC SCORES alumnus JaQuan Williams (right). Photos: Cody Cervenka.
19th Annual SCORES Cup Raises More Than $200,000 for DC SCORES
The annual tournament welcomed recreational players from 35 teams. Photo: Aya Takeuchi
On June 18, DC SCORES welcomed 35 company teams to The Fields at RFK for the 2022 SCORES Cup. The 19th edition of the annual corporate soccer tournament raised more than $200,000 for DC SCORES this year and included “super sub” appearances from D.C. United and U.S. Men’s National Team legend Ben Olsen for teams that raised more than $1,000 beyond the $5,000 registration fee.
Winning teams from Arnold and Porter, the World Bank, and Appian were presented with their trophies by Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch at the end of the tournament and received on-field recognition at D.C. United’s Audi Field match against Columbus Crew on July 13.
Winning teams were presented with their trophies by Washington Spirit forward and DC SCORES Board Member Ashley Hatch. Photos: Aya Takeuchi
DC SCORES Poet-Athletes Practice Alongside FC Bayern Munich Stars
DC SCORES alumni DeAndre (left) and JaQuan (right) shared their original poetry with Bayern winger Alphonso Davies (center). Photo: Aishu Sukumaran.
On July 19, DC SCORES poet-athletes from Raymond Elementary and Lincoln Middle Schools joined FC Bayern Munich players during their closed practice at Audi Field. Stars including Leroy Sané, Manuel Neuer, and Alphonso Davies helped poet-athletes practice passing, ball handling, and shooting ahead of Bayern’s match against D.C. United on July 20.
The professional players also received some poetic inspiration when two DC SCORES alumni, JaQuan and DeAndre, shared their original work, prompting Davies to try his hand at spoken word.
Poet-athletes had the chance to meet their soccer heroes, including Kingsley Coman (left) and Leroy Sané (right). Photos: Aishu Sukumaran.
DC SCORES Summer Camp Presented by CareFirst
During camp, poet-athletes took part in arts and crafts activities, as well as soccer and poetry workshops. Photo: Aishu Sukumaran.
This summer, poet-athletes from Brightwood and Burrville Elementary Schools had the opportunity to extend their DC SCORES programming and enjoy some fun in the sun with a special summer camp sponsored by CareFirst. The camps were held during afternoon sessions at both schools across July and August and featured soccer and poetry skills workshops and field trips around the District where students learned about the natural world around them.
One highlight included a special visit to Brightwood from D.C. United star Chris Durkin, who played soccer and made tie-dye shirts with campers. Summer camp was an opportunity for poet-athletes to continue to play alongside their team during the off-season. “Seeing their friendships form as their skills improve is amazing to see,” said camp counselor Emily Lobo-Castillo.
D.C. United midfield Chris Durkin stopped by to play soccer with campers (left). Students also enjoyed bounce houses and other games (right). Photos: Aishu Sukumaran.
DC SCORES Poet-Athletes Walk Out With U.S. Women’s National Team in Friendly Against Nigeria
Students from Houston Elementary School girls’ team accompanied players during the walkout and national anthem. Photo: Xavier Dussaq.
On September 6, poet-athletes from Houston Elementary School DC SCORES girls’ team walked out with the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) during their Audi Field friendly against Nigeria. The Houston poet-athletes — who earlier this year won the Capital City Cup — stood alongside the soccer stars during the national anthem. The match was a historic one: after the game, players from the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Teams signed collective bargaining agreements establishing equal pay.
Houston’s participation was secured by USWNT sponsor and DC SCORES partner Volkswagen. Tahirah, a Houston 5th-grader who held U.S. midfielder Sam Coffey’s hand as the group stepped out onto the field, said the moment was one she would treasure for the rest of her life. “I can have this memory forever!” she exclaimed.
Houston’s participation was secured by DC SCORES partner Volkswagen. Photos: Xavier Dussaq.
One Night One Goal 2022 Raises More Than $440,000 to Break DC SCORES Fundraising Records
The gala is in its fifth year and raised its highest-ever total in 2022. Photo: Rafael Suanes.
On October 6, DC SCORES hosted its fifth annual One Night One Goal gala. The fundraiser raised nearly $450,000, the highest-ever fundraising total for a single DC SCORES event. The Audi Field celebration brought DC soccer and poetry fans together for an evening that included spoken word performances in the Busboys and Poets poetry lounge, a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind soccer items, and opportunities for attendees to see themselves on the stadium jumbotron.
Guests were also treated to surprise poetry performances from D.C. United center-back Donovan Pines and Washington Spirit midfielder Gaby Vincent, who were both cheered on by their teammates in the audience. “I’ve always appreciated the spoken word and poetry aspect of the DC SCORES program,” said Shanell Mosley, Director of Community Relations at D.C. United. “Naturally, the highlight of One Night One Goal was seeing and hearing from the many poets in the Busboys poetry lounge, including D.C. United’s very own Donovan Pines.”
Guests had the chance to bid on exclusive auction items and watch poetry performances from artists and soccer players, including D.C. United’s Donovan Pines. Photos: Rafael Suanes and Cody Cervenka.
DC SCORES Delivers Fun for More Than 2,000 Poet-Athletes at Fall Frenzy Events
Fall Frenzy hosted thousands of poet-athletes and their families for soccer tournaments, activity booths, and inflatable games. Photo: Justin Williams.
In October, DC SCORES hosted its annual Fall Frenzy community soccer festivals for Junior and Elementary School SCORES participants and their families. On October 19, the organization welcomed more than 500 Junior SCORES poet-athletes to Audi Field for small-sided soccer games, bounce houses, and craft activity booths.
On October 22, the nonprofit hosted Fall Frenzy, a jampacked day of soccer, inflatable games, skills clinics, and arts and crafts workshops at Anacostia Park. The event served more than 1,400 poet-athletes and was supported by over 70 volunteers. “It was amazing to watch our families, volunteers, and staff come together to celebrate and support our poet-athletes while they smiled, laughed, and competed in our Fall Frenzy festival,” said Jason Gross, Senior Director of Soccer and Operations at DC SCORES.
Students also received temporary DC SCORES tattoos (left). Photos: Rafael Suanes and Justin Williams.
In-Person Poetry Slams Return For DC SCORES Poet-Athletes
Students delivered a series of solo and group performances across three nights at DC public school auditoriums. Photo: Rafael Suanes.
Across three nights in November, DC SCORES celebrated the return of in-person poetry slams after two years of virtual competitions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pepco-sponsored slams saw more than 1,300 poet-athletes from over 40 schools perform at public school auditoriums across the city.
The slams were attended by special guests from D.C. United and the Washington Spirit, and Eduardo Perdomo, the newly-appointed Director of the DC Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs, gave opening remarks at the Westside Slam. Judges Mariah Barber, Kenneth Carrol, and C. Thomas rated performances that explored a range of topics, from the impact of gun violence and social media bullying to students’ love for Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken. “We heard a lot of moving and dope poetry over all three nights. It was a joy to watch all the kids have fun,” said Barber.
The three events showcased work from DC SCORES middle schools, and elementary schools from DC’s Westside and Eastside. Photos: Aya Takeuchi and Rafael Suanes.
Middle School Teams Compete At The District’s Most Iconic Soccer Venues in DC SCORES Capital Cup Championships
Poet-athletes from the Cardozo Education Campus boys’ team celebrate winning the Capital City Cup Division Championship. Photo: Justin Williams.
On November 10 and 18, twelve of the District’s best middle school soccer teams competed in a series of thrilling knockout matches to be crowned champions of the 2022 DC SCORES Capital Cup. The competition for the trophy — which represents the culmination of DC SCORES’ middle school fall season — took place at Audi Field for the division championships and The Fields at RFK for the city championships.
Every match began with a sportsmanship talk by a DC SCORES staff member, which set the tone for play. “I was very impressed with the individual skill, teamwork, and, most importantly, sportsmanship during the event,” said Jason Gross, SCORES Senior Director of Soccer and Operations. “The Capital Cup is a competitive championship series and players didn’t lose sight of letting the game take away from our core values.”
Students from both DC public and charter schools competed to win the division and city finals. Photos: Aya Takeuchi and Justin Williams.
America SCORES Releases World Cup Commercial Featuring DC SCORES Poet-Athletes
The commercial features DC SCORES alumna Mariame Traore and poet-athletes from Cardozo Education Campus. Photo: Brandon Bloch
Throughout this year’s Men’s World Cup tournament, America SCORES spread the word about its soccer, poetry, and service-learning programs with a polished commercial featuring DC SCORES poet-athletes and coaches.
The 30-second spot was in rotation during World Cup coverage on FOX Sports, FOX Deportes, FS1, and FS2 and was developed pro bono by longtime DC SCORES partner Artemis Ward. “The ad really captures the ‘all in one’ nature of our work,” said Icy Jones, Executive Director of America SCORES. “We’re excited to introduce more people to our work through this ad and are grateful to FOX, Artemis Ward, and the many people who came together to help make it a reality.”
The ad aired throughout FOX Sports’ World Cup coverage. Photos: Brandon Bloch.