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”

Every Kid Deserves a Bike!

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Categories under-served communitiesTags , , ,

Backyard Sports Cares celebrates its 5th year of participation in Barnum Foundation for Life‘s annual Bike Day. Dozens of youngsters from the Youth Community Outreach Program (Y-COP) of Mt. Vernon were identified by BYSC to receive a brand new bicycle. For many, it was their first bike. The event took place on Sunday, June 23rd … Continue reading “Every Kid Deserves a Bike!”

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”

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”

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”

BYSC Joins Foundation for Life for Annual Surprise “Bike Day” Giveaway

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Categories under-served communitiesTags , ,

Bike Day gives gift of first bicycle to dozens of Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club kids  Beaming faces and squeals of joy and amazement could be seen and heard from across lower Westchester County last Saturday, June 9th. It’s no wonder when dozens of children from the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club received brand … Continue reading “BYSC Joins Foundation for Life for Annual Surprise “Bike Day” Giveaway”

100 kids celebrate victories and teamwork on final Saturday of BYSC White Plains Basketball League

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Categories basketball, under-served communitiesTags , , , , ,

Last January, with generous support from Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) partner, Advocate Brokerage of Scarsdale, BYSC kicked off the organization’s first basketball league in White Plains. Approximately 100 fourth and fifth-graders from five local elementary schools participated in the league, which culminated in a jamboree finale on March 23rd, 2018 at SUNY Purchase. Participating schools … Continue reading “100 kids celebrate victories and teamwork on final Saturday of BYSC White Plains Basketball League”

Discussing racial diversity: BYSC student leaders, Iona Prep students and White Plains Youth Bureau talk about race relations

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Categories under-served communitiesTags

“This was a great experience and it felt great knowing that I was doing something to help make a change.  I really got a lot out of it, and can’t wait for the next dinner.” — Jake Meyrowitz, BYSC Student Leader On January 22, 2018,  Backyard Sports Cares and the White Plains Youth Bureau initiated … Continue reading “Discussing racial diversity: BYSC student leaders, Iona Prep students and White Plains Youth Bureau talk about race relations”

#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”