BALTIMORE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES //
Emily Sherman, Director || Baltimore, MD
Emily has been deeply committed to public service in Baltimore throughout her career, serving as a Transition Support Coordinator with the 21st Century School Buildings Program at Baltimore City Schools and as Chief of Staff for former City Councilman Jim Kraft. Prior to her time in Baltimore, Emily was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, where she focused on developing after-school programs for girls and improving educational opportunities in some of the most remote areas in her district. Emily completed her undergraduate work at Colgate University, and earned a master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was selected as a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow. Emily is a certified trainer in Restorative Practices and a lifelong athlete.
Kat Sipes, Senior Program Coordinator || Baltimore, MD
Kat was born and raised in Baltimore. She first attended York College of Pennsylvania, playing a year and a half on the Women's soccer team. After transferring home, Kat finished her college career at Towson University where she played on the Women's soccer team, and graduated with a degree in Communications. She now plays in the WPSL for ASA Charge. Having played soccer her whole life, Kat continues to be active in the soccer community, playing on multiple teams throughout the Baltimore area. Sharing her passion for soccer, Kat is very excited to be the Senior Program Coordinator for Soccer Without Borders Baltimore.
Sarah Stangl, Program Coordinator || Baltimore, MD
Sarah is thrilled to join SWB’s Baltimore team as they expand their afterschool programming into Baltimore County schools. She is a lifelong soccer player and sports enthusiast, and has devoted her career to multicultural exchange and integration among immigrant communities. Originally from New York, Sarah’s studies and professional pursuits have taken her from Switzerland to Senegal and beyond. After graduating from Guilford College with a degree in Anthropology and French, she spent 1 year in southern France teaching English in public elementary schools. Upon returning to the U.S., Sarah spent 4.5 years as a program coordinator and case manager in a USCRI-affiliated refugee resettlement agency in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2018, she worked as a volunteer in Ritsona refugee camp in Greece, leading various sports activities for refugee youth ages 10-21. Prior to moving to Baltimore, she spent 6 months exploring the mountains of northwest Montana. When not coaching or playing soccer, Sarah can be found trying to learn a new language, playing her fiddle, sailing, or embarking on wilderness adventures.
Fernando Labastida, Program Coordinator || Baltimore, MD
Coming from Austin, Texas, Fernando joined SWB right out of his Peace Corps service where he served two years as a Youth & Families Development volunteer in Machala, Ecuador. Fernando has had a life long passion for soccer and international development, having played soccer all his life with a diverse background. Growing up in Texas, he played for various competitive Lonestar SC teams, including a stint in his undergrad at The University of Texas at Dallas, where he earned a BA in Emerging Media & Communication. Off the pitch Fernando enjoys movie going, supporting Texas Longhorns athletics and traveling.
Alanna McDaniel, Youth Development Associate || Baltimore, MD
Alanna is a DMV native that is really excited to be on board with Soccer Without Borders (SWB). She grew up primarily in Maryland and was an intern for the summer of 2019. New to the sport of soccer, she enjoyed seeing the inner workings of sports based youth development. She learned of SWB while researching pursuing her masters degree in Child Life, Administration & Family Collaboration at Towson University. She is really excited to get more experience working with children of diverse cultural backgrounds. Always serving a role, in a sport of some type, throughout her life. Alanna is an avid fan of encouraging people to get active. In her spare time, you can catch Alanna at the local yoga studio or aiding the community as an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapist for children that have autism spectrum disorder. She also really enjoys international social volunteer work, and spending time as a Child Life volunteer at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Luke Frey-Wedeen, Youth Development Associate || Baltimore, MD
Luke is a lifelong player, lover, and student of soccer. He is originally from the United States but his parent’s work in the field of public health saw him grow up abroad, in Haiti and Vietnam until the age of 14 when he moved to Seattle. An inevitable side effect of his international upbringing is his infectious passion for the game and a unique understanding of how powerful it can be in guiding a young person’s development and bringing people together from all walks of life. Through his time in Seattle, Luke played highly competitive youth soccer for school and club teams. Soccer has been a major source of community and friendship in his transient life, and he knows first-hand how having a team helps make anywhere feel like home. After graduating from high school in 2014, he was eager to rediscover life outside our borders and spent the next four years traveling and working through South America, Europe, and Asia. He speaks English, French, Spanish, and basic Vietnamese, but is best versed in the universal language of soccer, which has always been central to his adventures. In addition to working at SWB, Luke is head coach of an U10 Boys team based in Bethesda. Luke is thrilled to be part of the SWB team and to be working with amazing kids who share his love of the game.
Erin O'Brien, Youth Development Associate || Baltimore, MD
Erin is from West Hartford, Connecticut and have been playing soccer for the last 18 years. I graduated from Stonehill College in Massachusetts in 2019 with a degree in psychology. I played soccer all through college and it has always been a passion of mine. I learned about SWB through a family friend connection and was immediately interested and excited to learn more about the program. Service is another huge passion of mine and it is something that has driven me towards different areas of my life, including this position in Baltimore. I have always enjoyed working with kids, especially in the setting of my favorite sport! I am looking forward to creating meaningful connections with the kids and to facilitate their growth in areas other than soccer. I am very excited about this opportunity!
John Teweldebirhan, Youth Development Assistant || Baltimore, MD
John was born and raised in port Sudan, Sudan. His family resettled in the United State in 2015 when he was 18 years old and Baltimore City has been his home since ever. John attended and finished high school here in Baltimore and while in school he was a participant of Soccer Without Borders Baltimore. John is now also a sophomore at Goucher College and played as a freshman on the soccer team. John started playing soccer when he was 8 years old and has a great passion for both playing and now coaching the sport.
Rafik Crump, Youth Development Assistant || Baltimore, MD
Rafik was born in Egypt and lived there for a total of 11 years. He has been playing soccer for as far back as he can remember, and it has been a passion of his all throughout his life. He has coached middle school travel teams in the past, and finds it very rewarding to see his kids grow and develop. Rafik joined SWB in January 2019, and is very excited about his new role as a part-time coach at Vanguard Middle School. He is very excited to be coaching and connecting with the kids in the program.