Soccer Without Borders’ mission is to use soccer as a tool for positive change, providing under-served youth a chance to overcome obstacles.
From about the age of eight years old all I ever wanted was a soccer ball at my foot. As I grew older, soccer went from being a hobby to a passion and now I feel as if it is my purpose. Sport - and specifically for me, soccer - is a great vehicle to connect with people who you otherwise wouldn't have a connection with.
Playing the sport I love throughout my high school days gave way to four years of collegiate soccer at Messiah College. I've always enjoyed coaching at soccer camps and being able to share my knowledge with younger soccer players. However, it wasn't until I studied abroad in Ghana that my true passion for the sport became obvious. While on my trip I would play soccer everyday with the village kids, and as the days went by I couldn't help but notice that I was the only girl that was playing. I later discovered that it is "unacceptable" for girls to participate in sport in Ghana, seeing as it is considered a “masculine activity.” I was so moved by this that I ended up writing my 10-page reflection paper about it. What I experienced in Ghana has stuck with me and developed a need within me to use soccer as a tool to connect with younger girls in various countries.
Upon graduating from Messiah last spring I accepted a women’s assistant coaching position at Bucknell University. Thus far, it is been one of the absolute best experiences of my life, I feel extremely blessed for the chance to still be involved with something that I have such a desire for, while leading young women through one of the greatest stages of their lives. Now, I have been blessed with another opportunity to use soccer and travel to Nicaragua and fill the need that was started in Ghana. Soccer is more than a passion for me, and I can only hope that through this experience I am about to embark on, I can use the beautiful game to create positive change for youth.