Jack has been an invaluable member to the success of the LYSA TOPSoccer league in Lexington, Kentucky. He began volunteering with TOPSoccer in the fall of 2014 as a buddy to an individual player. Jack was part of a CIS 112 Community Service Class with the University of Kentucky that volunteers with LYSA TOPSoccer each season. The class requires each student to volunteer for ten hours during the semester. His first season with our program as part of the class Jack volunteered a total of 20 hours, exceeding the minimum 10-hour class requirement.
Many times members of CIS 112 volunteer only one season to meet their class requirement. However, Jack has continued volunteering with the program ever since he started as part of the class requirement. Since he started with us, he has primarily served as a buddy on one of our teams and most recently has also helped as a buddy for another one of our teams. Jack has worked with the same athlete since he started volunteering. Prior to working with Jack, this athlete had significant difficulty participating successfully at TOPSoccer. The athlete had difficulty with following directions, interacting appropriately with peers, and preforming to the athlete’s high potential. After Jack starting working with this athlete, the athlete experienced tremendous success. This athlete is now one of our most talented soccer players and has become a leader and helper to other athletes. Jack was both persistent and patient in working with this athlete and their family to ensure the success of the athlete and the team as a whole. This athlete looks forward to seeing Jack each week every fall and spring season. On days where the athlete has been unable to attend practice, Jack has eagerly stepped up to help work with other athletes or to run activities and games for the team as a whole. He comes early to help with setting up and stays late many times to make sure all the equipment gets put away.
Jack just graduated from the University of Kentucky and is starting graduate school this fall to be a special education teacher to continue working with individuals with disabilities and their family. As Jack’s involvement with TOPSoccer grew, his involvement in the community of individuals with disabilities and their families grew. He began working closely with an athlete from TOPSoccer in the community as an aide.