#HumansOfNYCFC - Beamer Freeman
“In this school, you have kids from different backgrounds. Some only speak Chinese, some only speak Spanish. I fit in that category when I first moved here. I was shy, and it was through soccer that I met my first friends and became more vocal and felt more comfortable. I feel like that’s what’s happening here. I’m not helping kids with math and science, but I’m helping them to be more active. The more they play, the more kids they meet. Now the kids I was not able to talk to because I don’t speak the same language, our relationship is getting better. Even if I don’t speak the language, I’m getting to know who they are, I’m getting to know their style. I feel like soccer is helping those kids whenever I interact with them.
Ever since I was a kid, I worked with coaches and kids a little older than me that pulled me under their arm. Every day I remind myself, I have a responsibility. If I don’t give back, then there’s something wrong. When I moved here as a child, what I’m doing now I had people do for me so it’s like I’m giving back to the community. I’m having a great time, I like the kids. I have a huge passion for soccer, so if I can teach a kid how to play I’m going to do that.
Some of these kids didn’t know soccer before, but now from these after-school programs they like it. It takes their mind off of the other things that they’re going through. It takes those problems that they deal with in school and at home. Being a part of their lives and giving them something they can look forward to, brings joy to their lives and makes them smile. I was searching for that smile when I first came to this country, and once I found soccer it gave me something to look forward to. I feel like it’s doing the same for these kids. They are happy, they are engaging more, and it’s something they look forward to. Tomorrow when I go, they’ll be ready to play. They know for sure that we have people that can look after them and guide them. Once there is guidance, it makes them want to come back. It makes them tell that friend “Hey, maybe you should come to after-school.”
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