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DC SCORES

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Unknown, Youth Development Programs

Mission: DC SCORES goes where kids in need are and creates neighborhood teams that give kids the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life.

Results: DC SCORES has served more than 9,000 low-income DC children since 1994. DCPS teacher -- as well as Teach for America alumna, soccer player, and poet -- Julie Kennedy founded DC SCORES to meet the needs of a group of 15 girls with little to do after school. She realized that bonds between teammates built on the soccer field forged a supportive community for poetry workshops -- which, in turn, built literacy skills and a forum for self-expression. The development of leadership skills through healthy competition empowered students to act as agents of change in their communities through service-learning projects. Twenty-two years later, DC SCORES provides year-round expanded learning programs for 2,200 3rd-8th graders (half boys, half girls) each year at Title I schools across the city in DC neighborhoods characterized by entrenched poverty. DC SCORES recently completed a growth phase which nearly doubled our student body, in recognition of unmet need, but still has a waiting list of more than 15 sites and a vision to serve all children in the District in need of a safe, supportive and stable after-school environment

Target demographics: 2,500 low-income DC youth ages 8-15.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,500 low-income DC kids.

Geographic areas served: Washington, DC

Programs: DC SCORES, we go where kids in need are and create neighborhood teams that give kids the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. We envision a DC where every child - no matter their family income - experiences the joys of childhood: sports, arts, service, and being part of a team. Where every child - no matter their family circumstances - is empowered to find academic success and grow into an emotionally and physically healthy teen and adult. Where every neighborhood supports and celebrates its children and their accomplishments on and off the playing field.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Emilie R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best organizations to volunteer for in the DC area. You can actually see the impact of your work and the staff is very friendly!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've helped out with DC SCORES in a variety of ways, including helping with poetry slams, going to games, and helping with basic data analysis. Every time that I have helped out I leave feeling so inspired.

The children DC SCORES supports are the most deserving and perseverant children. In their poetry, they're allowed to express hardships with racism, xenophobia and growing up with the stress of growing up in low-income areas. However, they are also allowed to express the joys of living in their homes, being siblings, and playing a universal sport. On the field, these children learn leadership, teamwork, and gain the support to participate in the universal language of soccer. The data that we analyzed, showed that this support and community assisted in student confidence especially for students whose first language was not English.

Today, in an era where African Americans, Latinos, and many other marginalized communities face stress, hatred, and bigotry both through legislation and everyday interaction, community building like this is essential. Seeing the joy on kids faces as they cheer each other on stage or on the field is so hopeful. I have seen students cheer on their peers through nerve-wracking solos, give high fives through missed goals, or just pass the ball with their coaches. Despite the circumstances of our political state or surviving as a low income or minority student in America, DC SCORES brings students joy and community.

As a volunteer, I have felt so lucky to witness the art and teamwork these students display and produce. As a child, access to reduced cost arts programs opened the world to me and allowed me to come into my own. Being able to support an organization that does that for others, in any small way, has been such an amazing gift. I am so grateful for all the DC SCORES staff and everything they do!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with DC Scores for 3 years and it is humbling to see the great work that the leadership team and the staff do to empower kids with their programming and their dedication. The mission is simple. Use soccer, poetry, and service learning to help children coming from underserved communities realize their true potential, and for that, I am grateful to be a part of such an organization. DC Scores is a beacon of hope for all of us.

Lorena P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work this organization does for the DC community is incredible! I've been lucky enough to see first-hand the impact DC SCORES has not only on its participants but also their coaches and families as well. Through DC SCORES, I've gotten to know some of their participants and see them grow into better players on the field, but more importantly, grow into better people off the field.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with DC Scores since it's founding as a Board Member (with a little time off). Being involved with many organizations, I have yet to find another that rises to the level of accomplishment as does DC Scores. Both in terms of the sheer number of kids helped both athletically and scholastically, it has no real rivals. The dedication of the staff, coaches and volunteers is incredible and the results delivered by the kids is palpable - both in terms of scholastic achievement and personal growth and pride. Mark D. Cowan

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with DC Scores for many years as a donor and more recently as a board member. Recently, I attended the Fall Frenzy for the first time and seeing the smiles on every child and parent's face was a clear indicator of the program's effectiveness and value to the participants and their families. DC Scores is clearly making a difference in those communities that need it the most in all quadrants of the city.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Name is Ana Galeas Martinez. Since I was 8, DC SCORES has been my family. I joined DC SCORES in third grade and stayed in DC SCORES all the way through 8th grade. Once I got to high school, I volunteered with DC SCORES. I’ve been a summer camp counselor, assistant coach, and referee. I even helped DC SCORES launch an alumni leadership program. I’m now studying at Montgomery College majoring in General Studies in Film and Photography, and working as a Soccer Coordinator for DC SCORES. I get to mentor kids and encourage them to do better things in life and make them feel special in life playing soccer and writing.

DC SCORES isn’t just my home; it’s a home base for so many kids like me. Thank you for making that possible!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this wonderful organization for about 18 months. Never before have I found such a dedicated and caring staff that thrives on making a difference in these children's lives. D.C. Scores provides pivotal support to at risk children in communities throughout the city by emphasizing the importance of and helping them achieve results in nutrition, exercise and literacy, with soccer as the catalyst. Any and all support is appreciated and foments positive results in the lives of children in our city.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a proud supporter of DC SCORES and their genuine commitment to offering impactful programs that foster teamwork, leadership, community service and educational development for students in all 8 wards of DC.
While the students have an opportunity to receive consistent support on and off of the playing field - the DC SCORES staff, coaches, volunteers, and board members have an opportunity to witness first-hand the excitement and pure joy of a student when they share their original poem, research and implement their service-learning plan, or put on their soccer jersey.

Loren A.

Board Member

Rating: 5

D.C. Scores does so much to build the confidence, athleticism and creativity of many children in our city. Their tireless approach to organization and guidance to engage these young minds in programs that will teach them new skills and build beneficial relationships is remarkable. Every interaction I've had with the children and team members has been rewarding because of their enthusiasm and commitment to the greater cause. Let's continue to help guide these children and hopefully more with effective fundraising to have more schools involved with the D.C. Scores experience.

Board Member

Rating: 5

You will not find a more dedicated staff or harder-working Board than at DC Scores. As a nine year supporter, and new Board member, I have fresh insights into how this organization works, and it's driven more by passion than dollars. The impact they have on kids is undeniable: just look at them at the end of the school year. They are confident and articulate. Nothing drives this home more then watching them perform at their Poetry Slam. Attending (and even watching rehearsals) is a powerful experience. These kids have a lot to say, and DC Scores gives them the skills to express themselves and a stage to perform.

Alex D.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I went to the recent Fall Frenzy soccer tournament. It was so wonderful to see all the kids, parents and staff out playing and having fun. I think this was only topped by the poetry slam I went to last year. Great job DC Scores for working on body and soul!

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I ended up volunteering for DC Scores as I was looking for a way to get involved in the DC Community. To say I was hooked is a complete understatement. The empowerment and kinship that is formed through DC Scores are intoxicating. Everyone from the Poets/Soccer Players (children), to the staff/board, to the volunteers were engaged at all levels. You can really tell that DC Scores has a lasting impact on the children, their family, and the community as a whole. Anyone looking to get involved with a great organization that really makes you feel as one of their own, look no further! DC Scores is the most underrated organization in DC, hands down.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first encountered DC Scores when I was working at a DC Charter School. They had immense success with our students and were an incredibly popular program. I had kept up with them through the years and recently became more active in volunteering. The events I have attended so far have reconfirmed the positive impact DC Scores has on youth both on and off the field. You can really see the dedication in the staff and volunteers as well as the students themselves. Definitely recommend becoming involved with the program!

Board Member

Rating: 5

DC SCORES helps children that come from disadvantaged communities to gain the self confidence they need to succeed in life. I've been honored to volunteer with the organization on and off for over a decade, and to serve as a Board member the last few years. The leadership is outstanding. The Board is highly energized. The staff is spectacular. I have never heard a complaint out of students or parents. Well done!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC SCORES is a terrific organization that does wonders for the kids it works with. The combination of soccer, service learning, and poetry is such a unique combination. I have witnessed firsthand how much both SCORES kids and whole families get out of their programs. There really is no other non-profit like it within in the District!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's hard to imagine a nonprofit in DC that has a greater impact on youth development than DC SCORES. Were it not for DC SCORES, more than 2,000 local students would not have opportunities to play after-school soccer, develop new friendships outside the classroom, and build self-worth through ongoing poetry programs. The staff does an incredible job serving its ~60 sites today, and their ambition to continue expanding into untapped parts of the city is highly inspiring.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with DC Scores on and off, mostly on, for a period of almost 25 years. It is a stellar organization that provides a base through soccer wherein inner city children have access to a first class after school program - as opposed to the streets or home alone - that integrates with literacy improvement, higher matriculation rates and a strong propensity to move into higher education. In my experience there is no program like it in terms of both performance and measurable, objective results. Mark D. Cowan

Jacqui K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as an employee and now a volunteer, and I can't say enough great things about DC SCORES. As an employer, this org is the definition of work hard, play hard(er). There's organized "staff fun" events like baseball games, picnics, and team building before every staff meeting. As a youth-serving nonprofit, DC SCORES is as good as it gets. With a community-centric attitude, staff, teachers, students, and parents work together under the values of teamwork, leadership, and commitment to build teams and solve problems in all 8 DC wards. Jump on any opportunity you get to join this amazing organization in any capacity!

Joshua34

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's amazing to see gown DC SCORES helps DC Public School students develop soft skills and see the importance of being in a team through sports and creative writing. Fall Frenzy and Jamboree are the best places to see this!