10Z Team Soccer is connecting with CIANA’s younger clients in exciting new ways. Through a combination of teaching in the classroom and on the soccer field, 10Z volunteers are committed to empowering students in our afterschool programs through teamwork and inclusion.
What made you volunteer with CIANA, and particularly the SONYC program?
Our group wanted to connect with CIANA to further a shared interest of helping immigrant families. Each of our members has similar stories of their families becoming new Americans. It's now our goal to pass on what helped us so dearly as children: soccer. We believe in the power of soccer to connect people and celebrate diversity.
What has your experience working with students and program staff been like?
Working with the students has been an impactful experience thus far! We try to bring energy and enthusiasm into each class to encourage both physical activity and leadership. Some of the most outstanding memories are when various students mention that they have done some of our exercises on their own time.
It's easy to see how everyone at CIANA has a passion for their work, as it truly radiates when we collaborate and work as a team. We hope to be able to share more in-person experiences with the group when the pandemic is behind us.
What were some challenging moments that you experienced during your volunteer work?
Not being able to meet in-person is certainly the challenge that stands out in our line of volunteer work. There is a shared energy when we are all together, especially in team activities, that is harder to create when we are unable to be together in the classroom or on the field. Fortunately, we have been delighted to meet some of the students at Astoria Park and have been able to experience the group’s unity and inclusiveness.
Have the clients left an impact on you?
Absolutely! The kids have great patience and resilience that they deserve credit and recognition for. With the ongoing pandemic exacerbating prior challenges, these aren’t easy circumstances. Having the opportunity to see their patience and willingness to help each other (and even us with technology at times) is very inspiring.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get involved in volunteering with students?
Don’t shy away, especially since everyone has a unique gift that they can bring to the table. By sharing what you are passionate about, you can connect with a student in a way that you may have never realized. It’s like the ‘Butterfly Effect’: a small gesture can go a long way.
Thank you 10Z Team Soccer for inspiring our students to express themselves and building community outside of the classroom.
Learn more about 10Z Team Soccer: https://10zteam.com
Become a volunteer: https://www.cianainc.org/volunteer