This Floral Park resident and Queens College student is a star on the soccer field. A forward on the school’s women’s soccer team, the Knights, Andrea Slavin is a gamer with the accolades and skill to carry her to the next level.
For now, “the next level” is an opportunity to introduce the benefits of sports to the next generation of athletes. Slavin was recently chosen to coach soccer in a program focusing on positive youth development through sports. Up2Us, a national nonprofit coalition, plucked Slavin from the soccer field to serve as a Coach Across America at America SCORES NY in Summer 2012.
Born out of its partnership with the East Coast Conference (ECC), Up2Us places 260 coaches and is the only program of its kind to provide AmeriCorps coaches in over 100 disadvantaged communities across the country. These coaches serve kids through a wide range of traditional and nontraditional sports, inspiring academic success, healthy lifestyles and self-esteem among boys and girls and showing young people that sports can be a turning point in their lives — physically and emotionally.
“I’m passionate about sports, because it’s been a constant variable in my life that has given me great self-confidence,” said Slavin. “As a child, and even now, sports were a way for me to feel as if I had a purpose and gave me importance.”
Slavin will be working with young people through America SCORES New York, a nonprofit organization that strives to empower students in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression and service-learning. With teamwork as the unifying value, America SCORES New York inspires youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students and become agents of change in their communities.
In 2010, Slavin was named to the NSCAA/Adidas NCAA Division II Women All-East Region third team. This followed her selection as a 2009 second team all-East Coast Conference all-star. Andrea led the East Coast Conference in goals scored with 15 and finished second in the league with 35 points. In her 38 games as a Knight, Andrea has 33 goals and 74 points.
“I am so passionate simply because I am my happiest when I am active and playing sports,” she said. “Plain and simple, sports make me smile, and I believe every child deserves the chance to smile.”
Up2Us supports a national network of close to 500 member organizations in all 50 states. These organizations serve 20 million youth through sports. Members share best practices, advance initiatives that extend opportunities to new players and deliver quality programs in underserved communities where there is a tremendous need for constructive outlets for youth. For more information, log on to www.up2us.org.
“We are thrilled to welcome Andrea to our Coach Across America team in Summer 2012 and hope she is the first coach of many as a result of a partnership with the ECC and Up2Us,” said Paul Caccamo, executive director of Up2Us.