BYSC Alum Spotlight: Andrew Goldberg tells how volunteering with under-served kids impacted his life

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Inspiring stories of growth, compassion, and success
from Backyard Sports Cares volunteer alumni


“It was a very fulfilling and interesting experience. When I look back on it, I wish I could relive some of it.”

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.

BYSC executive director announces Next Generation Campaign to lead organization into the future

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Categories Teen Mentors, afterschool programs, fundraisingTags , ,

  LISTEN to our podcast interview with Danny Bernstein, executive director, BYSC When Backyard Sports Cares launched in 2009, we knew we were doing something special. There was a void for many parents in the Westchester Community who were seeking either affordable sports programming for their typical child or programs that were accommodating to their … Continue reading “BYSC executive director announces Next Generation Campaign to lead organization into the future”

Gannett Grant Fever Simmers as BYSC Earns Finalist Standing for $25K award

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Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, Soccer, basketball, under-served communities

Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) has earned finalist status to potentially win Gannett Media’s A Community Thrives grant. To qualify as a grant finalist, BYSC had to raise $3,000 via a Crowdrise Campaign. The organization has exceeded that goal by raising more than $4,000 in three weeks — four days in advance of the campaign cutoff. … Continue reading “Gannett Grant Fever Simmers as BYSC Earns Finalist Standing for $25K award”

The guru behind the GAGA ball — And BYSC’s Mission GAGA 2018

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Categories Volunteers, afterschool programs, GaGa programTags , , ,

When you hear the name Talon Athletics, the sport of GaGa may not spring to mind, but it should. Based on an inspiration by Scott Blumberg and Will Perez more than five years ago, Talon Athletics has grown into the largest supplier of GaGa Pits, protective gloves, as well as the premier host of GaGa … Continue reading “The guru behind the GAGA ball — And BYSC’s Mission GAGA 2018”

Youth Soccer Participation has Fallen Sharply — Cost of Entry Among Principle Causes

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Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, Soccer, under-served communitiesTags

This past week, the New York Times published a story about the decline in youth soccer participation in the US. According to the report, over the past three years, the percentage of 6- to 12-year-olds playing soccer regularly has dropped nearly 14 percent, to 2.3 million players. The number of children who touched a soccer … Continue reading “Youth Soccer Participation has Fallen Sharply — Cost of Entry Among Principle Causes”

Bridging cultural differences through sport: Visiting UK coaches introduce rugby and cricket to Westchester grade schoolers

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Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, special needs sportsTags

Backyard Sports Cares “guest counselors”, Rhodrey Dafydd and Tom Finnigan of the United Kingdom, recently spent the month of May participating in our afterschool and special needs programs.  They led early morning and recess rugby and cricket programs to elementary school students in White Plains and New Rochelle. They also assisted in a physical education … Continue reading “Bridging cultural differences through sport: Visiting UK coaches introduce rugby and cricket to Westchester grade schoolers”

#MissionGaGa takes flight at Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club

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Categories afterschool programs, under-served communities, GaGa programTags ,

As part of Backyard Sports Cares’ Mission: Gaga 2018 initiative, BYSC, in conjunction with host families, will be donating a portable gaga pit to the Boys and Girls Club so they can enjoy the game all year-round. To get the kids formally introduced to gaga action, Backyard Sports Cares hosted a Gaga Day on Thursday, January … Continue reading “#MissionGaGa takes flight at Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club”

Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks

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Categories afterschool programs, basketball, At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags

How do you get at-risk youths in crisis to open up and take some hard-won advice? If you’re Backyard Sports Cares, the answer is pizza…and a few local heroes from the Westchester Knicks! This past week, Danny Bernstein, executive director, Backyard Sports Cares, decided to add a unique dimension to the recreational programming that the … Continue reading “Productive Discussion: BYSC brings local at-risk youths together with role models from the Westchester Knicks”

Backyard Sports Cares Leads Art Appreciation Program at Yonkers DaySpring Center

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Categories afterschool programs, Art programsTags ,

Following successful programs with the White Plains Youth Bureau and the Mary Blige Center, Penny Bauersfeld of Scarsdale recently completed a six-week “Learning to Look” art appreciation program with 12 elementary school-aged children from the Day Spring Center in Yonkers. The program includes five weeks of afterschool study of various periods and artists.  Children learn … Continue reading “Backyard Sports Cares Leads Art Appreciation Program at Yonkers DaySpring Center”

Game, Set and Match! — An Interview with BYSC Tennis Coach Rita

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Categories afterschool programs, under-served communities, tennis

By Arden Franklyn Although some believe tennis is an exclusive sport, it’s actually largely recognized around the world as a mainstream activity that can be played by virtually anyone.  I recently caught up with Coach Rita, who leads the Backyard Sports Cares’ afterschool tennis program every Thursday at Ridgeway Elementary. The veteran tennis coach typically … Continue reading “Game, Set and Match! — An Interview with BYSC Tennis Coach Rita”

BYSC Tennis Program Flourishes at Ridgeway Elementary

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Categories afterschool programs, tennisTags

By Arden Franklyn Every Thursday, for 90-minutes, Rita, BYSC’s Tennis Coach, leads a group of 10 kids from Ridgeway Elementary through various energizing drills that are focused on the fundamentals of tennis. But the drills themselves aren’t the only reason why improvement has been evident among these young players. Before rackets or balls take to … Continue reading “BYSC Tennis Program Flourishes at Ridgeway Elementary”

Just Keep Swimming!

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Categories afterschool programs, swimmingTags , ,

By Arden Franklyn Whether your child swims for sport, exercise or fun, nothing quite compares to the feeling of weightlessness and freedom that swimming offers. I recently caught up with Colleen Ferguson, SUNY Purchase Swim Captain and lead coach for Backyard Sports Cares’ afterschool swim program for the Slater Center. Every Tuesday, Coach Colleen instructs … Continue reading “Just Keep Swimming!”

BYSC Afterschool Swim: A Day in the Pool with Slater Center Youngsters

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Categories afterschool programs, swimmingTags , ,

By Arden Franklyn Water + Kids = Fun  — That was the winning formula last Tuesday at Backyard Sports Cares’ weekly afterschool swim program for Thomas H. Slater Center children. Hosted at the SUNY Purchase pool and led by Swim Team Captain, Colleen Ferguson, the program brings the fundamentals of swimming to seven to ten-year-olds with limited … Continue reading “BYSC Afterschool Swim: A Day in the Pool with Slater Center Youngsters”