FEATURED EMPOWERED LEADERS OF THE MONTH
In honor of all the incredible young female athletes displaying leadership qualities both on and off the field, court, pool, rink, etc., ETSLS would like to recognize these individuals and their accomplishments each month. The Empowered Leader Award Recipient, recognizes an individual or group of individuals who take the lessons, strength and confidence they’ve learned through sports and physical activity and translate that into positive actions within their communities.
To start this year off are three young empowered leaders who are giving back to their community. Emma Forsyth, Ayla York, and Devyn Beliveau-Gale, launched Soccer for Soles, a 3 v 3 soccer tournament in their hometown of Vermont in order to raise money for children in Africa who do not have the resources to pay for soccer equipment. This 3 v 3 soccer festival is a community service sporting event with a mission “to give back”. The name concept of “soles” refers to the concepts of “giving soccer shoes to a child who plays bare foot; and souls, the principal of life, feeling, thoughts, and action in human beings.”
Congratulations Emma, Ayla, and Devyn, and continue to keep up the amazing work you are doing for people in your community and in the world!
More on Emma, Ayla, and Devyn:
Plays for Mount Mansfield Union high school, Far Post Soccer Club
Started playing soccer at 4 or 5 years old, soccer idol is Cristiano Ronaldo. Favorite quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu. Also plays guitar
Soccer for Soles: Originally Devyn, Ayla and I didn’t think Soccer for Soles was going to ever happen or become as big as it is. It was just an idea, but then we actually wanted to make it come to fruition because we wanted to help kids in Africa enjoy soccer and have a great experience playing it with real cleats, socks, shin guards and balls rather than bare feet and fake soccer balls. We also wanted to bring something back to our community and create a fun event that would make kids smile and have fun while playing a sport we all enjoy. Soccer for Soles has come very far from the past and has made me proud of everything Devyn, Ayla, our committee and I have accomplished.
Plays for Union High School and Nordic Soccer Club
Started playing soccer at age 7, soccer idol is Tobin Heath. Favorite quote, “don’t let the moments define you, define the moment.”
Soccer for Soles: Soccer is much more than it appears. Everyone who plays can communicate through the sport. The game is everywhere. Is it fair that my cleats were $200, yet some kids cannot afford a $5 ball? Through ETSLS I learned how to become a leader and how to put my goals on a track to make them a reality. My goals became clearer – I wanted to help give back to my community by helping others afford to play the game. I saw what it took and we took it. We wanted to show what three girls from VT are capable of.
Plays for Mount Mansfield Union high school and Browns River Soccer Club
Started playing soccer at age 5, soccer idol Alex Morgan. Favorite quote, “I think the thing to do is to enjoy the ride while you are on it.” Johnny Depp
Soccer for Soles: Soccer For Soles is a 3 v 3 tournament raising money for kids who do not have the privilege or resources to play soccer. We started SFS because we were inspired by the ETLS program to bring something back to our community. We have had such amazing experiences playing soccer in our community. We have travelled, made great friends, and learned to be leaders on and off the field. Since soccer has provided so much to us, we wanted to give other kids the same opportunity as we have.
To learn more about Soccer for Soles you may visit the website and click on the youtube video using the links below:
**If you would like to nominate an Empowered Leader in your school, on your team, or in your community, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject line “Empowered Leader”.