Choose to Matter Winners

Changing the World

These young women are changing the world by “choosing to matter” in their communities. We hope their service projects can inspire others to make a difference!

Learn More About The Choose to Matter Winners

The winners of the 2013 Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy “Choose to Matter” contest are role models for youth around the country. Their service projects were chosen out of 69 entries to join Julie Foudy on an all-expense-paid trip to serve as field managers and soccer mentors at the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Here’s a brief description of their inspirational projects:

Emily J.

Emily Jurcsek was the winner from JFSLA New Jersey for her project, Cancer: Let's Stomp the Monster!

The Metuchen Annual Country Fair is a big event for central New Jersey. Stomp the Monster is a 501c3 charity for supporting families with cancer. Emily wrote to the Fair Committee, successfully secured a booth at the fair, then organized supplies and volunteers. With the support of her neighbors and family she worked the stand all day to raise money and successfully spread the word!

Shannon M.

Shannon Moran was the Illinois JFSLA winner with Let's Kick Diabetes: Games for Change

The goal of this project was to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, as well as teach kids about the disease. Shannon hosted a day of soccer that included a skills contest, pick-up games, a diabetes-friendly bake sale and a raffle. She also sold rubber bracelets and t-shirts at her school. Shannon even spoke to local soccer teams, grade schools and her own school about diabetes prevention and the ADA.

Kate W. & Hannah W.

Kate Walner and Hannah Wells won from JSFLA California for Boxes, Bags and Bins of Books

Lack of supplies in inner city schools is a major problem, especially library books in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Hannah and Kate chose to help OUSD get more library books. They organized a book drive in support of 3 Elementary schools; Allendale, Brookfield, and Lafayette and collected 1,149 books of all reading levels and genres- giving more than 360 books to each school!

Amber A.

Amber Abernathy won in the Girl Talk category for her project All Teens Against Violence

Amber held a non-violence seminar for a group of 50-60 middle school students who are exposed to violent situations at home or surrounded by gang activity. Her goal was to encourage them to say no to violence and inspire them to know that it’s possible to rise above the problem. Speakers gave the students info to live healthy lives away from violence.

Elizabeth & Katie O.

Elizabeth and Katie Overberg won in The Century Council-sponsored Mother-Daughter category with Fund a Miracle League so All Can Play

Elizabeth and Katie’s town needed to raise one million dollars to start the Ankeny Miracle League, a safe and accessible baseball field and all-inclusive playground for kids with special needs. Their goal was to raise $500. They asked lots of people to donate and 27 different people gave money. Elizabeth hopes that her friend who has a disability and uses a wheelchair will be able to play.



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