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  • Dara Ely, SWB

Nick Brooks Named Director at Soccer Without Borders Maryland

Soccer Without Borders is pleased to announce that Nick Brooks has been named Director of SWB Maryland. A Baltimore County native and passionate soccer player, Nick brings a wealth of youth direct-service programming experience and strong connections within the Baltimore community. He replaces previous program director Emily Sherman, who is moving into a new role at Soccer Without Borders as Managing Director of Finance and Operations. She will continue to be based in Baltimore City and will serve all SWB program hubs as a member of the Collective Impact Team.

“We're thrilled to welcome Nick to the SWB team,” said Lindsey Whitford, SWB Managing Director of Programs. “He is a true community builder, as evidenced by his career working to advance young people’s employability, leadership skills, and feelings of connection to each other and the city of Baltimore. These deep roots will strengthen SWB Maryland in new ways and continue to make the program an incredible welcomer for newcomers in Baltimore city and county.”

Nick first joined SWB as a family mentor volunteer from 2014-16, supporting multiple newcomer families.

“Volunteering for SWB presented a mutual learning and teaching dynamic with the young folks I met. I saw concretely that there was not nearly enough support for newcomer youth and families,” said Nick. “I also saw the beauty in the communities these families had built together, and learned from the incredible family dynamics and cultures they shared with me. The experience helped me see my role in the community and how community is built on relationships.”

Nick comes to Soccer Without Borders from the Youth Empowered Society (Y.E.S.) in Baltimore, which works to end youth homelessness by providing direct services, leadership and employment skills development, and system-level reform. As the Workplace Development Manager, he led an employment program that helped hundreds of youth find meaningful work and reach their career goals.

“As my career grew in community advocacy I always tried to stay connected with SWB,” said Nick. “It brought me such joy to see expansion into new schools, the growth of girls programs, and success of coaches like Kat [Sipes] and alumni like Warshan [Hussin]. When I heard about this opportunity it felt like such a moment of synergy. I’m over the moon excited to get started.”

Nick also co-led the Youth Leadership Program and facilitated weekly S.E.L.F. community conversations (Safety, Emotions, Loss, and Future) to promote individual growth and wellness and foster capacity for problem solving and self-regulation. Previously, he spent five years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Department of Rehabilitation Services, supporting job readiness and training for people with physical and developmental disabilities.

Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Elizabethtown College. He is a member of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition Board and the MOED Workforce Practice Advisory Governance Committee. He also worked closely with Baltimore’s Affordable Housing Roundtable from 2018-20 and still advocates for a more equitable Baltimore community.

Nick’s familial ties to the city of Baltimore run generations deep and he looks forward to helping create community for the newcomer population that SWB serves. “Baltimore can be an insular community where it’s hard for newcomers to fit in, especially young folks and families who have been through so much adversity,” said Nick. “But once I was attuned to that dynamic it became a calling to make this community as welcoming as possible. We accomplish so much in our city when we come together with our talents, perspectives, and the strengths that make us unique.”


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