Jersey Express teams up with Practice Makes Perfect to provide students with opportunities to build leadership skills over the summer
Soccer has the power to uplift, empower and change lives. Through sport children are able to learn transferable life skills like teamwork and leadership. Without a structured environment like school, the amount a child engages in sporting activities and exercises goes unmonitored. That’s why Jersey Express has partnered with Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) scholars to provide the opportunity to stay active during their summer learning program.
Practice Makes Perfect provides a 5-week summer learning program for students in low-income neighborhoods. Through Practice Makes Perfect, students are eliminating summer learning loss by staying active during the full-day academic program. This past Friday, July 11th Practice Makes Perfect scholars, students from a SOPA program, players and the head coach of Jersey Express came together in Jamaica, Queens to provide an exclusive and empowering sport for leadership program. Over 40 students from SOPA and PMP had the opportunity to work with pro soccer players during a community service project. The students participated in a peer-to-peer mentoring session. During the mentoring session, Jersey Express athletes encoura ged the kids to remain active and follow their aspirations, while learning new soccer drills and having fun as a team. After the PMP scholars completed their mentorship program, each was given their own Jersey Express soccer ball; signed by the players and head coach.
Mentoring is an important aspect of the Practice Makes Perfect summer program. Higher achieving students who are only four years older and from the same neighborhood, mentor PMP’s academically struggling students during the program. Anderson DaSilva, the Head Coach of Jersey Express understands the importance of mentorship and giving back, “This opportunity was one of the greatest gifts. It allowed our players and myself to give back to youth, teach them how to listen, play like a team, and build trust. Soccer brings structure and fun to youth who may not have had this opportunity otherwise. It was a great day.”
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