[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][minti_headline size=”fontsize-s”]”Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi[/minti_headline][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It was the usual sight of a SoCal beginner’s clinic. On Tuesday, January 31st at 4:00pm eleven nervously-excited middle schoolers shuffled onto Court Two — ready to play volleyball.

Except this wasn’t a FutureStars clinic.

It was a SoCal 17-Lianne practice, and these kids had a long journey getting here.

SoCal parent Katy Maskiewicz, a local teacher, has been working tirelessly on a grant funded program that keeps immigrant children from falling through the cracks of our public school system; Maskiewicz explains:

The kids are all very new to the country. Most of the kids are from Mexico, but some are from Guatemala, Honduras, and Iran. They came from really bad situations in their native countries, and many went through difficult circumstances getting here. Two were separated from their families and placed in detention facilities. Others are staying in less than ideal conditions here with extended family, while their parents remain in their native land.

My program is all about teaching them English. There isn’t enough time during the school day to teach the basic survival vocabulary, as they’re thrown into content classes right away. The kids realize how important learning English is for them and their families, so we deliver extra instruction after school. We teach three days per week, and do two to three field trips a month, so they can practice. 

With her daughter playing on 17-Lianne, Maskiewicz arranged January’s field trip to be a volleyball clinic taught by the squad.

“We’ve been coordinating their field trip for three weeks, and I’m inspired by Katy’s passion for these kids. This is an amazing project for our community, and I’m thrilled SoCal is able to support it,” SoCal Club Director, Aimee Asebroek, says about the experience.

SoCal 17-Lianne coaches and players graciously volunteered a portion of their training time to lead the volleyball clinic, which also emphasized conversational English. Afterwards, Maskiewicz described herself and the other teachers as blown away: “everything about the hour was impressive, from the patience and kindness, to the way [the team] included [my students in] cheers to make them feel a part of the team — you made our kids feel very special.”

As an organization we’re inspired by these member driven acts of kindness. Thank you 17-Lianne and the Maskiewicz family for your generosity.

Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world. Are you giving back somehow, or want to acknowledge someone who is? Let’s recognize the good. Please share your stories in the comments below. No act of kindness is too small.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row top_padding=”20″][vc_column width=”1/1″][minti_imageslider ids=”24813,24818,24819,24820,24821,24822,24823,24824,24825,24826,24827,24828,24830,24831,24832,24840″][/vc_column][/vc_row]