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Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club

Scholarship Recipients


Elizabeth Thayer
Kamiak High School Scholarship Recipient

I've played many sports in my life, softball, basketball, track & field, skiing, but one sport that I am devoted to, and will be for the rest of my life, is soccer. I have been playing soccer for nearly fourteen years now and every year I find myself learning new skills that often reach beyond the soccer field into everyday life at school, work, and even at home. Work ethic, discipline, determination, grit, humility, and leadership are just a few of the things I've developed that have forever shaped my life. I am so grateful for the chance to have learned these skills, skills I am not sure I would have developed without playing the sport. I am also thankful for the opportunities soccer has provided for me to travel around the United States. However, what I am most appreciative of discovering that I can communicate with people from all over the world through the universal language of soccer.

I learned this for the first time on a mission trip to Albania with my church. During the day at the vacation bible school we were running, we had free time for various activities such as volleyball, crafts, and card games. There was also a group of boys I had never talked to that were juggling the soccer ball on the side of the courtyard. As I was walking by them, they lost control of the ball and kicked it towards me. The was still bouncing around, so I got control of it and juggling it a few times before volleying it back to them. Their jaws all dropped. Soccer is a sport only played competitively by boys in Albania, so they were stunned to see a girl be able to juggle the ball more successfully than a lot of them. They invited me to play with them and that became the foundation of many relationships built that week.

Knowing this language has provided me many life-changing experiences, like going to Southeast Asia on a humanitarian trip. When I was just twelve years old, I was asked to take my soccer experience to Battambang, Cambodia, to teach girls rescued from human trafficking how to play the game to use as an escape from their past. Our goal was by teaching them how to play soccer, a game that had until recently only been played by boys, it would restore some of their confidence that had been lost in their recent past. We hoped that through the game, they develop the drive to become more successful in their lives, especially in school. While I was there, we also took our soccer skills to play fun soccer games at a house that supports children affected by HIV and AIDS, to schools in the slums, and to the local orphanage.

Through these experiences and others, I have realized that soccer has not just served its purpose in my life as a sport but it has given me the opportunity to connect with others who I may not have been able to before. I plan to resume using soccer as a connection in the future as I continue to travel, something I am now very passionate about after traveling for soccer so much, and while I am a pediatric nurse.


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Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club

P.O. Box 762, .
Mukilteo, Washington 98275

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 425-745-4499
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