Sean Kirst: Coaching soccer helps Iraq veteran in struggle with PTSD

"He's every parent's favorite coach," said Calvert, Algonquin's executive director. The organization's Soccer for Success program, in cooperation with the Independent Health Foundation, has grown to the point that it involves 2,250 city children, kindergarten through eighth grade, who take part at eight outdoor parks in Buffalo and one in Niagara Falls. They are involved with after-school instruction and with two summer sessions that go three times a week.

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Anna-Lesa Calvert
Algonquin Sports Earns Sports for Life Grant

Sports 4 Life seeks to shrink that gap by strengthening and expanding the opportunities for sports participation that are available to young girls of color through its grantmaking, leadership training and capacity-building efforts. The initiative supports programs that help girls in four foundational areas – leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance – with the expectation that growth in these areas will also support girls’ physical and emotional health and academic success.

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This Parenting Thing is Hard

In that moment, I realized two things. One, while I tell parents often about the importance of allowing your child to struggle, fail, and grow on their own, it is so hard as a parent to sit and watch. Secondly, and I think more importantly, I realized that if I had helped I would have taken away so much from those two boys.

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Anna-Lesa Calvert
His Goal: Making a Difference

The goals are up and the nets in place on the soccer pitch at JFK. The weather is breaking. Kids already are out there, laughing, running, losing themselves in the world's most popular sport. All because one man never lost touch with the scared, determined boy who lived inside.

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Anna-Lesa Calvert