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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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: 2,220 low-income DC youth ages 8-15.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000 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

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

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.

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.

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

DC Scores is a terrific program. It combines the team experience provided by the soccer teams, with self expression and community service. This is an amazing combination and it provides kids in need with growing experiences that many of us took for granted when we were young, or we take for granted for our own children. The most stunning aspect of all this is that, but for DC Scores, these kids would have no after school programs and would be on the street or on a couch, alone, in front of a TV. As a math teacher and a soccer coach, as much as I think what happens in the math classroom is important, it is what happens on the soccer team that grows kids, gives them leadership skills and teaches them the important life lessons about themselves, being part of a group effort and being part of a community. That is invaluable. That is what DC Scores provides.
The self-expression part of the program, which really grabs the kids' imagination and creativity, allows them to recognize, process and express many of the complicated emotions and feelings that they have about themselves and the world around them. Again, for many of them, without DC Scores, they would not have such an outlet.
DC Scores is the best thing that has happened to the kids in need in Washington D.C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization works to help the whole child, not just the heart, not just the brain, not just the legs--but the entire person. The saddest part is that it cannot help all the children it would like to help, and that there are so many children who desperately need their support.