In honor of MYS Teen Mentor, Kaleb McYates, the MYS community has established a grant fund for MYS Teen Mentors, campers, and/or Volunteer Coaches who desire to share and represent the MYS spirit in their community or in other communities.
We are awarding two grants at $750 each per year to MYS Teen Mentors and/or Volunteer Coaches, past or present, who
- endeavor to nurture children's unique strengths on and off the pitch,
- travel and experience new cultures and communities through the sport of soccer,
- and/or give of their time and talents expanding upon the MYS experience.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, reviewed during the month of May, and awarded each year in June. Click here for an application.
The first Kaleb McYates Memorial Grant went to former campers and teen mentors, Caitlin and Jackson Pilisuk. Caitlin and Jackson ran a My Yute camp in Kibera, Nairobi. They connected with a group called With Love From Kibera -- operating a school and an after-school program for about 65 kids.
I've been going to the camp for a few years and it never ceases to inspire me. Hearing about it before I went for the first time I was scared because I would be doing it with a group of kids I never met before. That didn't matter at all though. We could communicate through soccer. I really realized this fact after holding my own My Yute clinic in Kenya. We had a group of kids that barely spoke any English but as soon as the ball came out we could clearly understand each other. My mission is to spread communication through soccer and being at My Yute would be a perfect chance for this.
In addition to receiving the $750 grant, Caitlin & Jackson traveled with a bag of cones, MYS t-shirts, Senda Athletics fair trade soccer balls, and ultra- durable, One World Play Project soccer balls, donated by Tim Jahnigen.
As the first recipient of the Kaleb McYates grant, I'm excited to inspire future recipients to apply. Playing in groups mostly filled with boys at My Yute has given me the confidence to become the player I am today.