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Current Grassroot Soccer Interns
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Current Grassroot Soccer Interns

Ally AbelAlly Abel
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Monitoring & Evaluation Intern
School: University of Rochester-’13; MPH-‘14

While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience and Masters Degree in Public Health at the University of Rochester, Ally played a leading role in Grassroot Rochester (GR), a student organization aiming to empower youth and broaden their horizons through soccer. As Vice President and Director of Curriculum and Innovation for GR, Ally was able to spearhead the “Soccer Girls Rule” league for Rochester girls ages 4-12 years, supplementing organized soccer games with an innovative and fun reading challenge. In addition, Ally was a 5-year member of the University’s women’s varsity soccer team, where she was both a defensive starter and a member of the team’s leadership council. Planning to attend medical school to become a primary care physician upon completion of her Grassroot Soccer internship, Ally is most interested in working with research and development..


Keith BarberKeith Barber
Site: Soweto, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Ferris State University – ‘13
Blog: keithbarber.wordpress.com

Keith was a Secondary Education Major, who earned teacher certification in History and Biology. Now working on his Masters in Special Education, Keith brings to Grassroot Soccer many prior volunteer experiences. He has worked as president of a Habitat for Humanity chapter, served as a camp counselor, and been a resident advisor at Ferris State University. Most recently, he has been working in a cognitively impaired classroom and coaching Special Olympics basketball. He has twice participated in mission trips to Malawi, and has been playing soccer since he was six years old. Keith is ready to educate, inspire, mobilize and stop the spread of HIV with Grassroot Soccer.


Jessica ByronJessica Byron
Site: Lusaka, Zambia
Role: Monitoring & Evaluation Intern
School: Miami University-‘11
Blog: kickitwithjess.com

With a BA in both geology and environmental science from Miami University—earned while being a Division I scholarship athlete on the women’s soccer team– Jessica joins Grassroot Soccer after working as associate director for a student test preparation service in California. Jessica has a strong passion for youth development and sport and to compliment her work as director, Jessica coachs soccer for the San Francisco Vikings Soccer Club. She is an affiliate of the Sage Service Club, a local San Francisco Bay Area organization that has partnered with the National Park Service to carry out various community service initiatives that connect middle school and high school students to the outdoors. Other experiences include serving as service and adventure trip leader in Peru, Turkey and in Greece and personal mountaineering in Hong Kong, Nepal and Thailand. She is an avid runner, biking enthusiast and rock climber and will take any excuse she can to get outside for an adventure. Jessica is excited to join Grassroot Soccer and to carry out its mission to use sport to ignite change.


Jack ClancyJack Clancy
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Monitoring & Evaluation Intern
School: Middlebury College-’14

An International Politics and Economics major from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jack is looking forward to furthering his passion for both soccer and global development next year with Grassroot Soccer. He has been a long time fan of the organization and ran the 2013 NYC marathon with the GRS long-distance team. Jack comes to Grassroot Soccer with prior work experience in international not-for-profits, including the founding of Two Touches, which focuses on the world-wide distribution of soccer balls to children; work in rural Guatemala for a clean water initiative called Aldea83; and an internship with Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, in their Argentina office. Jack is particularly interested in the monitoring & evaluation and sustainability aspects of global development, and can’t wait for his adventure with GRS in 2014-2015.


Peter DavisPeter Davis
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Operations/People Development Intern
School: Bowdoin College-’14

Peter grew up in Bronxville, New York and graduated from Bowdoin College in 2014 with a degree in History. At Bowdoin, Peter was a staff writer for The Bowdoin Orient and a member of the Men’s Varsity Tennis team. A tennis player his entire life, Peter was inspired by his childhood coach, a native of Zambia, to co-found Serving Zambia, an effort that has grown over the years into a non-profit organization that provides children in Lusaka with tennis coaching, mentoring, scholarships, and access to free medical screenings. While in college, Peter made several trips to Lusaka to work with Serving Zambia as well as with Fountain of Hope, a school and community center for orphans. It was in Lusaka that Peter first met Dr. Tommy Clark and saw the power of Grassroot Soccer in action. Knowing that he wanted to continue his work in Africa, Peter was honored and thrilled to join the GRS team. Peter previously interned at Octagon, a leading sports marketing agency, in the Olympic & Action Sports Division, and at Spark Growth Partners, a digital media agency. Peter is currently an Operations and People Development intern at GRS.


Laura DonnellyLaura Donnelly
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Boston University-’14

Laura is a native of Rockport, MA and a recent graduate of Boston University. During college, she was a member of the BU Women’s Club Soccer Team, which she captained for two years. While earning her degree in Health Science, Laura also acquired significant experience in the health sector. She has served as an EMT for BU Emergency Medical Services, assisted with setting up medical clinics in Honduras and volunteered in the Emergency Radiology Department at Mass General Hospital. Laura discovered her love for travel during a semester abroad in Auckland, New Zealand, where she worked as a teacher’s aide in a classroom for students with disabilities. Laura is excited to combine her passions for public health, soccer, and service through joining the Grassroot Soccer team. She is working at the headquarters in Cape Town as a programs intern.


Cory D'OrazioCory D’Orazio
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Marketing & Communications Intern
School: James Madison University-’14

Possessing a passion for traveling, photography and service, Cory hopes to bring these qualities to his internship with Grassroot Soccer. Ever since he traveled to Kenya at the age of 13, Cory has returned to the country three times and traveled to over five continents. He also interned at a hospital in Ghana in July, 2012, and worked as a camp counselor in Japan last summer. As a trip leader and coordinator for his university’s Alternative Break Program, Cory has participated in service-learning experiences worldwide and is inspired to pursue a career toward social justice. Graduating from James Madison with a major in Media Arts and Design, and minors in Africana Studies and Anthropology, Cory is thrilled to work in Southern Africa and use his skills and experience to further the goals and vision of Grassroot Soccer.


Michael GageMichael Gage
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Monitoring & Evaluation Intern
School: Bloomsburg University-’03; Penn State-’13

With graduate study concentration in international affairs and practical work experience with philanthropic activities, Michael joins Grassroot Soccer seeking to advance his knowledge in the fields of international relief and sustainable development. Michael has traveled and worked in dozens of countries in such areas as donor relations, program design, project implementation and management and grant writing. He has also worked in the field of multi-media design and photo/video production in his home town of Philadelphia, PA.


Sheldon HalstedSheldon Halsted
Site: Soweto, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Georgetown-’14

Sheldon is from Mill Valley, California. She has a love both for helping underprivileged kids and for travel. She spent a summer teaching in Ghana and has served as both a mentor and as a teacher’s aide while at Georgetown. She is the co-founder of Strive for College, a mentoring program for low-income high school student in the Washington, DC area. She has traveled extensively to Europe, to Latin America and to Africa. A psych major at Georgetown, Sheldon is a self-proclaimed soccer enthusiast.


Caroline KimberlyCaroline Kimberly
Site: Alexandra, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Boston University-’13

Caroline joins Grassroot Soccer excited to combine her passions of building healthy communities for kids, sport and exploring the world. While studying sociology with a minor in public health at Boston University, Caroline was a four-year member of the varsity rowing team and served as a captain her junior and senior years. While at BU Caroline volunteered with Athletes 4 Autism and served as an intern at Fenway Community Development Corporation, the City of Revere and Boston Children’s Hospital. Since graduating, Caroline has been working in a residential treatment center as a behavioral counselor with Youth Villages in Arlington, MA.


David NobleDavid Noble
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Partnerships Intern
School: Yale-’12
Blog: http://www.davidnoblegrs.com/

A history major with a particular interest in both African and African-American studies, David wrote for several student publications at Yale and helped to organize Relay for Life. Before his freshman year, David participated in a volunteer project in Tanzania, an experience which inspired him to return to Africa for a semester abroad at the University of Cape Town. While living in Seattle after graduation, David investigated counterfeit claims at Amazon and tutored high school students on the side. He is eager to learn how a non-profit like Grassroot Soccer remains sustainable and hopes that this year will lead to a career in sport for development.


Julie PlattJulie Platt
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Coach Development Intern
School: Wesleyan College-’12
Blog: http://jrplatt0928.wix.com/grs-internship-

Julie’s experiences have shown her that sports can bring about social change and development in a unique, truly powerful way, and she is thrilled to be a part of Grassroot Soccer, where she knows her energy and passion will fit in right away! After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2012, she worked with AmeriCorps VISTA with Street Soccer USA, a national nonprofit that uses a soccer-based curriculum to help empower homeless men and women to break the cycle of poverty by connecting what they do on the field to everyday life situations. Through this experience she was able to attend the 2012 Homeless World Cup in Mexico City, where she saw on a global scale, how the common language of soccer can be used to challenge cultural stereotypes and misconceptions, and unite young adults from all around the world. Since moving back to Philadelphia, Julie has been coaching the Street Soccer USA Philly team, and has been a Running Leader for Student Run Philly Style, a program which offers marathon training to disadvantaged youth in the public schools. In college she was a two sport athlete, running cross country and track and playing lacrosse. Julie has postponed enrollment at the George Washington University School of Public Health for a year so she can serve in South Africa.


Emanuel RaptisEmanuel Raptis
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Strategic Operations and Outreach Intern
School: Jonkoping International Business School-‘11, Lund University-’15
Blog: http://eraptis.wordpress.com

Currently enrolled at Lund University in Sweden in pursuit of a Masters in International Development and Management, and with a Bachelors in International Economics and Finance, Emanuel brings to Grassroot Soccer skills in monitoring and evaluation, operations, partnerships, sales and international business development. Emanuel’s participation as a Grassroot Soccer Intern and his ongoing work in pursuit of his degree will be combined to help Grassroot Soccer evaluate our activities and development programs. Professionally, Emanuel’s background includes positions managing not-for-profit organizations, working in multinational corporations and work with the Swedish public trade and investment council in Greece. His interest in the development field was awakened 10 years ago after serving in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Liberia. Combining his passion for soccer and development work, Emanuel looks forward to a career within the sport for development field.


Dan RemillardDaniel Remillard
Site: Alexandra, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Bates-’14

After four years as a member of the Bates Men’s Soccer Team, including being team captain in his senior year, Dan graduated last Spring with a BA in Rhetoric. He spent a Spring semester abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. For two summers, Dan has worked one-on-one with a non-verbal child suffering from severe cerebral palsy and he has done volunteer work as both a soccer coach and as a mentor in the local public schools. Upon completion of his internship, Dan plans to attend law school.


Dylan RiessenDylan Riessen
Site: Khayelitsha, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Colby College-’13

Raised in Hanover, NH—across the river from Grassroot Soccer’s Vermont headquarters—Dylan first learned of GRS as a member of the Upper Valley Lightning Soccer community. He is a 2013 graduate of Colby College, where he studied Political Science, ran cross-country and played intramural soccer. Outside of class, he was an active member of the Outing Club, leader for fall and winter orientation trips, and interviewer for Colby’s Admissions Office. During summers in college, Dylan led backpacking trips for high school students in Alaska’s Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains. Having worked with young people his whole life, Dylan is thrilled to join Grassroot Soccer as a Programs intern and use the unifying power of sport to serve others, drive development and affect sustainable change. He is based at the Football for Hope Center in Khayelitsha.


Arthur SimArthur Sim
Site: Lusaka, Zambia
Role: Operations
School: Loughborough University-’14

Having run the London Marathon, climbed Mount Kilamanjaro, served as soccer goalie for eight years and played both rugby and cricket, Arthur joins Grassroot Soccer with considerable sports credentials. He has also helped organize a number of charity events that includes fancy dress bucket collections to auctioning off his hair and eyebrows to the highest bidder. He brings with him an academic background in international relations in which he recently had his dissertation about the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia publishished. He is an enthusiastic and resilient addition to this year’s intern class. Currently serving as the Operations Intern in Zambia, his responsibilities range from financial duties, such as monitoring cash flow, to organizing competitive staff futsal matches. Whilst taking up a position of great responsibility, he is also finding it to be the most rewarding experience he has ever undertaken.


Aina TorresAina Torres
Site: Lusaka, Zambia
Role: Coach Development and Communications Intern
School: Connecticut College-’14

A native from Barcelona, Spain, Aina is a soccer enthusiast who has been playing soccer since she was five years old. She played for F.C. Barcelona for six years prior to coming to the U.S. to attend college with a soccer scholarship. Aina received her Biological Sciences degree while being an active leader on the college varsity team, working as a youth soccer coach and tutoring students in a variety of subjects. She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and for the paramedic department in New London. Following her pre-med track, Aina has interned with a general surgeon in Barcelona and an orthopaedic surgeon at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston. She hopes to combine her passion for soccer, interest in the medical field and positive attitude to support Grassroot Soccer’s mission.


Sam VilaboaSamantha Vilaboa
Site: Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Programs Intern
School: Williams College-’13
Blog: http://samgrassrootsoccer.blogspot.com/

Sam is a native of Norwood, MA and joins Grassroot Soccer from her job at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. While earning her degree in psychology and a concentration in pre-medicine at Williams College, she was also a four-year member of the Ephs’ women’s soccer team; spent a semester in Copenhagen; enjoyed numerous coaching experiences; and completed summer work at several medical facilities. Having played soccer nearly her entire life, Sam has witnessed first-hand its ability to transcend divides and draw individuals together. Over the years, Sam has been able to travel extensively, as well as volunteer in different areas of the world. As a Programs intern in Cape Town, South Africa, she is excited to apply her passion for soccer, travel, and helping others to her work with Grassroot Soccer participants and community leaders. With a future goal of working in the healthcare field, Sam plans to earn a Master’s in Public Health upon completion of her internship.


Lucy WallaceLucy Wallace
Site: Cape Town, South Africa
Role: Business Development Intern
School: Connecticut College-’13

Lucy is from Cold Spring Harbor, NY and joins GRS from her job at The Documentary Group in New York, where she worked in documentary research and production. Lucy received her degree in International Relations from Connecticut College where was extensively involved in student government, the women’s center, and the New London community. She also received her certificate in Public Policy and Community Action from the Holleran Center at Connecticut. Lucy has done fundraising and development work both domestically and abroad—most extensively for a rural community in Ecuador where she did an independent study her junior year. Always up for travel and adventure, she is extremely excited to be joining the Grassroot team in Cape Town. As a three sport athlete in high school and two sport athlete in college, she appreciates the power of sport to change lives. Lucy hopes to continue to work in the international development field and plans on obtaining an MBA in the near future.