In addition to coaching, I have worked extensively in schools and community-based youth programs. My Master’s Degree is in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Psychosocial Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity. My studies focused on the research and science of sport as a context for youth development. Through Developmental Athletics, I hope to share what I have learned and continue learning. The youth we serve will benefit when we continuously sharpen our philosophy and our craft.
I invite you to read my full bio below.
Baltimore has been home for my family since 2011. I have the amazing opportunity to coach or lead play almost every day of the week, as I also do capacity building for community-driven sports. Working mostly in South, Southwest and West Baltimore neighborhoods, I have played different roles in youth and sport initiatives.
Sport, play and games have always been my main leisure activity and social setting. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to play collegiate soccer at Slippery Rock University. I love competing and appreciate all that competition has taught me. In addition to community sport programs, I coached the Schenley High School Men’s Soccer team for six years. The team maintained 40+ players, Varsity and JV, from every background and part of the world. I am proud of how the players developed, loved the game and built lasting relationships. From successes and failures, I take many lessons learned.
My professional journey began as youth program director at Friendship Community Church in Pittsburgh, PA. Spending time in community spaces, giving rides, attending cookouts and opening my home were the most important aspects of my work. Working in neighborhood schools and my deep involvement with Pittsburgh’s Somali community further shaped my perspectives. I grew to understand youth development work as contributing to a comprehensive environment, rich with opportunities and relationships, where youth can create the pathways they desire. This is why I furthered my education; to focus on one part of the youth development ecosystem with excellence, and trust others to do the same within their talents and passions.
As I started my graduate studies, my experiences lined up with the research I was reading. Some of what I learned led to changes in my coaching philosophy and strategies. More often, the research provided me with language to better articulate my thoughts and experiences. Sport psychology, motivation, relationships, leadership, human development, youth program quality, sport systems, physical sciences and social-emotional learning are examples of the many fields that speak to how we coach and shape youth sport programs. My personal research explored strategies coaches use to connect with parents, schools and other important people surrounding athletes to create a more cohesive environment.
My deep commitment is for all young people to have access to education, experiences, opportunities and relationships to create the life they desire for themselves. My work in this picture is contributing to the best possible sport and physical activity opportunities. I hope to be part of a culture of learning in the Baltimore region, where we never stop striving to better ourselves and the opportunities we provide for youth.