Fraternal twins Margot and Graydon Diamond, rising seniors at Scarsdale High School, are in their fourth year as volunteers at our special needs program at Purchase College. We recently got a chance to sit down with them to ask about their experience working with BYSC.
Tell us what kind of experince do the BYSC kids get from our program (Margot)?
I think they feel a real sense of community which sometimes in other parts of their life they can be excluded from. I think it’s a really important part of anyone’s life to feel like you are part of a welcoming community. So for them coming here having fun, being active, and being coached by kids their same age is really useful for their learning and growing up.
What have you most enjoyed (Graydon)?
Pretty early on I got paired with a specific athlete named Ty. When I first started working with him, it was a real challenge because he often did not want to participate in that week’s sport. But over time, he learned to trust me and now we try to do the drills and play the games. He’s grown a lot since I started working with him and that makes me feel good and it’s really nice to see.
Describe the impact BYSC has had on you (Margot).
It’s been a really big learning experience for me. When I first came in as a coach, I felt like I was supposed to have all the answers. But I soon discovered that what I really needed to do was listen and learn. I think that the most important thing I have taken away from this is learning to adapt. And over the years it has made me work in groups so much better.
Tell us why sports are so important for special needs kids (Graydon).
I think sports is a really good way to get the kids out here and playing and having fun. That is really what sports is all about anyway, and it is no different for special needs kids. Sports also provides athletes with an opportunity to learn new things, or practice and get better at something you have done before… and that’s exactly what we do here every week. It’s just about getting their kids out here and giving them something to look forward to every week.
Are there any specific moments working here at BYSC (Margot)?
At the end of the recent session when Maeve, she walked me back to her Mom and then asked me if I was going to be back because she really wanted to work with me again. And that made me feel really good. It made me feel like I had an impact on her and that we really connected and that she had fun, which is important to me.