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.

Two groups of deserving kids find fun, fresh air, and friends at BYSC’s 5th annual Adirondack camping experience at Brant Lake Camp

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Categories At risk youth, under-served communities, summer campTags

This past week, Backyard Sports Cares hosted two separate groups of deserving campers at Brant Lake Camp, a private summer camp in the Adirondacks. BYSC hosted thirty school-aged children from the New Flex Foundation of Mt. Vernon, and seven residents from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester, a rehabilitation program offering teenagers a second chance … Continue reading “Two groups of deserving kids find fun, fresh air, and friends at BYSC’s 5th annual Adirondack camping experience at Brant Lake Camp”

Good Sports removes barriers for kids who want to play

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Categories At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags ,

Since we are now officially in the month of giving thanks, we thought we’d take this opportunity to cast the spotlight on some amazing organizations that are really trying to move the needle when it comes to raising healthy and happy kids. Our first subject is Melissa Rundlett, partnership coordinator at Good Sports, a national … Continue reading “Good Sports removes barriers for kids who want to play”

Dr. Christina tells why sports are important for all kids — And role modeling is key!

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Categories 3 on 3, special needs sports, At risk youth, under-served communities, fundraisingTags ,

PM Pediatrics has been a community partner to Backyard Sports Cares for a number of years. Their contribution to the welfare of children and adolescent health and wellness in Westchester is matched by their time, commitment and generosity in helping foster the sports activity programs we provide to at-risk and special needs kids. We talked … Continue reading “Dr. Christina tells why sports are important for all kids — And role modeling is key!”

Young men from Youth Shelter Program of Westchester join BYSC for a weekend at Brant Lake Camp

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Categories At risk youth, under-served communities, summer campTags ,

Earlier this month, Backyard Sports Cares coordinated an extended weekend to Brant Lake Camp in the Adirondacks for 12 teen residents from the Youth Shelter Program of Westchester. For many of these at-risk young men, it was their first time officially camping, and for others, it was their first foray out of an urban environment and into … Continue reading “Young men from Youth Shelter Program of Westchester join BYSC for a weekend at Brant Lake Camp”

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”

GaGa Plays Key Role in Ambitious Mission for Spring 2018

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Categories At risk youth, under-served communities, GaGa programTags ,

Volunteers and Vested Supporters are Invited to Join this Important Initiative with Backyard Sports Cares Backyard Sports Cares is embarking on an ambitious mission to bring kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds in Westchester together — and GaGa is the lynchpin. Last week, BYSC Executive Director, Danny Bernstein, hosted a kickoff conference with BYSC’s stakeholders and … Continue reading “GaGa Plays Key Role in Ambitious Mission for Spring 2018”

WVOX-AM “Wartburg Cares” Radio Show Features Backyard Sports Cares

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Categories Backyard Sports Cares, inclusive sports, At risk youth

  On September 20, 2017, Backyard Sports was given the incredible opportunity to co-host a local radio show through WVOX and Wartburg Cares Radio. Produced by Angela Ciminello, Vice President of Development and Marketing at the Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon, Backyard Sports Cares Executive Director, Danny Bernstein and Dillon Faulkner, were able … Continue reading “WVOX-AM “Wartburg Cares” Radio Show Features Backyard Sports Cares”

BYSC Celebrates February Birthdays with Coachman Family Center Kids

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Categories At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags ,

Last Sunday, Backyard Sports Cares visited the Coachman Family Center to brighten spirits of homeless children through sports and play. Based in White Plains, the Coachman Center is home to more than a dozen families in need of shelter due to various and unfortunate circumstances. Although the families live at the center in White Plains, the … Continue reading “BYSC Celebrates February Birthdays with Coachman Family Center Kids”

“Off the Street” Program at Hamilton Elementary Teaches Kids Lacrosse

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

Supported by the Westchester Jewish Community Service’s Off the Street Program, Mt. Vernon’s Hamilton Elementary School offers an after school program, which provides 80 at risk K-5th grade children a safe place for homework help and enrichment activities. Backyard Sports has been the recreational partner for the past three years, providing team sport programming to … Continue reading ““Off the Street” Program at Hamilton Elementary Teaches Kids Lacrosse”