Building Character through Soccer

Derek Zhang ’22, shares his passion for soccer with a local youth soccer camp.

This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants

Since the beginning of my soccer journey, I have gone to many summer soccer camps. I now look back on the memories made at these camps with great fondness, and feel grateful to have had those experiences which nurtured my passion for the sport. Through my passion for soccer, I learned important life lessons about work ethic, teamwork, and respect. In August, I will work with a local soccer organization, Penn Fusion Soccer Academy (PFSA), to provide a fun camp experience to around 100 campers to not only develop their enjoyment of soccer, but teach valuable life lessons through soccer.

PFSA runs several soccer camps in the summer for young players ages 9 to 14. At these camps, kids will learn the fundamentals of soccer and develop their skills. With the help of the CSGC, I will be able to provide t-shirts for each player as well as prizes which will be given out to those who exhibit outstanding sportsmanship or work ethic. My hope is that this will show the players that hard work and respect for others are rewarding traits in life. Additionally, the CSGC grant gives me the opportunity to provide equipment for Penn Fusion, a non-profit organization, so that it can free up funds to give scholarships to players in financial need.

I wanted to be an assistant coach at PFSA’s summer camps because I want to help give young players a memorable, fun experience. One of the most enjoyable aspects of soccer camps for me was when there was an assistant coach who was closer to my age. These coaches would be like a big brother to me during those few days and helped create a fun environment. I wanted to be able to do the same for others. Soccer has become one of my favorite things in life and has helped me in many, many ways. When I play the sport, I forget about all the negatives that may be happening in my life and just play. With the help of the CSGC, I hope to be able to share and spread this great experience with others.

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