Inspiring stories of growth, compassion, and success
from Backyard Sports Cares volunteer alumni
In this second installment of our series on BYSC former volunteers, we connected with Andrew Goldberg, a graduate of the University of Maryland and former peer coach working with under-served children participating in BYSC afterschool programs in New Rochelle and Mt. Vernon, NY. Andrew is now a product analyst for M&T Bank in New York City. This is his story. Click here to read our first alum interview with Emily Holzberg.
Listen to our podcast with Andrew Goldberg
BYSC: How did your volunteer experience begin with Backyard Sports?
Andrew Goldberg: I grew up playing sports with Danny Bernstein in one of the shelters, SACS. I participated in a lot of camps and other Backyard Sports opportunities, both as a participant in my younger days, and then as I grew up, I got involved as a coach. Because I was a sports-minded kid, and always wanted to participate and get involved, it was a natural fit and something that I always loved to do. In high school, I started dipping my toes into the coaching world, where I helped out in some of BYSC’s afterschool programs within the Scarsdale communities, as well as in some of the neighboring areas of New Rochelle and Mount Vernon. I was pretty active for the two to three years that I did, both during the school year and in the summers. It was an incredible experience.
BYSC: What was it like working with kids from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds?
Andrew Goldberg: It was quite eye-opening. I was familiar with some of the areas and kids from my childhood days with BYSC, but moving into a coaching role in 10th grade was a little intimidating. I was working with community center managers and leaders that would introduce me to the kids, give me their backgrounds, tell me a little bit about their operations, and what they provide to the community, and how much sports really meant to these kids.
Growing up, sports was just a hobby. It wasn’t really my life, but for a lot of these kids, I learned that sports was kind of an escape for them. It meant a lot more, and I felt like I was giving a lot more back to the community than just sports. I think, at its very core, that’s what Backyard Sports is about. It’s something that I always loved about the organization.
BYSC: How has giving of yourself in that way molded or shaped you as a young adult?
Andrew Goldberg: I think that the experience provided great value to me. I definitely look back on the experience and I think it has made me more compassionate and understanding. I did it in high school, so it exposed me to a lot of different environments and people, including the kids that I was working with, community center managers, and coaches. So I got to learn and interact with people from all different walks of life. I think that was a super interesting experience, especially preparing somebody who’s in high school for college where that’s a whole other world of unknown and interacting and working with people from different backgrounds and experiences.
I think my attraction to volunteerism has followed me into adulthood. I’m always looking to get involved, especially in a sports capacity. It’s something that I can easily relate to.
BYSC: What are you doing these days?
Andrew Goldberg: I graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in finance, and I got a job at M&T Bank within their merchant services department in Buffalo. I thought that was a really interesting experience, getting to start off my career in a new city, but I still had ties to family and friend back home in Scarsdale and the metro area. So I did two years in Buffalo and just recently, through M&T, I was able to move back to the NY metro area. We have operations in the Manhattan area, so as of a few weeks ago, I relocated to New York City. So back home, nearby and excited; things are good.
BYSC: When you get to the point in your life when maybe you get married, have a couple of kids, do you think that part of your parenting and advice that you give to your kids will be to volunteer? Or how do you think you’ll use your experience to help them be more open to others?
Andrew Goldberg: Yeah, 100%. I mean, I think I’ve kind of touched upon it, but volunteering, I guess somewhat selfishly, is way more than just giving back to the community. It has significant impacts on people’s lives, including your own. I look at my personal development and how I’ve taken to interacting with people, learning to communicate, and take on leadership roles. So selfishly, you kind of get all of that, but also on top of that, you’re having an impact on all these people, their communities, their families. I mean just to kind of put the cherry on top, it’s fun.
It was a very fulfilling and interesting experience. When I look back on it, I wish I could relive some of it.