- Soccer without Borders
Volunteer Spotlight: Alexander Aleman
Alexander joined SWB in January 2021, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic forced programming to become virtual. That hasn’t stopped him from becoming an integral part of our team in Aurora, CO as a coach and tutor.
When did you first start volunteering for SWB?
My first day with SWB was January 11, 2021. All of the programming was online, which meant we would have tutoring for one hour followed by practice. Although most of my time with SWB has been virtual, I have been able to create great relationships with the coaches and students who are very friendly. When I had surgery on my neck, the kids were very supportive. SWB Aurora is an open-minded, tight-knit community.
What has surprised you most about working with SWB?
What surprised me the most about working with SWB was the engagement from the students, given the online environment. We literally had a student count down the minutes until the start of practice via Google Classroom, which meant everyone was getting an email with the reminder. Also, there isn't a day where the chat boxes weren't blowing up. As a college student taking online classes, seeing this sort of engagement from students was inspiring.
What’s a favorite memory of your time as a volunteer with SWB?
My favorite memory is working with a student who utterly detested doing homework. I was put in a breakout room with her to help her with an assignment that had her compare and contrast music videos. She had attempted to do the assignment on her own, but didn't finish it because it was "boring." I tailored the assignment so that she could focus on music she liked, and it was really cool to see her come to live. She went from being disengaged and complaining to taking the lead and wishing we had more time to work on the assignment. I think her perspective on homework changed that day. Also, she became the DJ for my workout sessions.
What’s the best part about being a SWB volunteer/your favorite thing to do?
My favorite part of being with SWB is helping students believe in themselves through affirmations. One way SWB does this is through KILOS. This is a great way to affirm students for their hard work and perseverance and counteract some of the things they might hear that might not be edifying.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
When I am not volunteering with SWB, I am a full time student at the University of Denver. I am a senior majoring in finance and will become the first person in my family to graduate from college this June! My family includes my parents, two brothers, and one sister. 23 & 13), and sister (17).
Anything else you’d like to add about SWB or yourself?
SWB is incredible, and I am so pleased to be a part of this program. If you get the chance to volunteer with SWB, do it!