Coaching organization impacts lives of kids

by Jake Keeney

MCT Campus
MCT Campus

A new nonprofit organization called Coaching Corps has arrived at San Diego State to help local disadvantaged youth. It is an organization that works with after-school programs in low-income neighborhoods. Coaching Corps finds education programs in need of coaches and provides volunteers. These volunteers are college students who have received training from Coaching Corps to act as assistant coaches in after-school programs where they can help keep kids off the streets and act as role models.

SDSU finance senior Tommy Sunarto acts as treasurer for the university’s chapter of Coaching Corps. But along with his duties as financial director, Sunarto also volunteers as a coach.

“Coaching Corps is like a family,” Sunarto said. “The people that are there are really awesome. We’re just trying to get kids off the street so they can play sports and have fun.”

Coaching Corps offers a unique service to after-school programs with limited funding, providing volunteers to help overworked head coaches create a safe, fun environment for kids living in low-income neighborhoods. International security and conflict resolution freshman Sahar Osmani is the president of the SDSU chapter of Coaching Corps.

“I’d really like to emphasize that Coaching Corps is honestly a life changing thing,” Osmani said. “I actually just coached my first boys’ basketball team, 10 and 11 year olds with the YMCA, and it was amazing. Those kids really inspired me.”

There is no previous experience required to be a volunteer coach. Each student volunteer is trained by the Coaching Corps staff and sent to a location in need of coaches or referees.

April 25 through 29 Coaching Corps will hold College Week, which Emily Barnes, a community organizer for Coaching Corps, sees as a way for the coaches to introduce the kids to college.

“We found out that in a lot of low income areas the kids don’t even hear about college, they don’t see it as an option,” Barnes said. “During that week, we want to bring three or four of the teams from down south to come up here to go the baseball game, to talk to a coach, to talk to an athlete, to tour the campus, just to kind of get the word out that ‘There’s college,’ it’s a place, it’s a thing and it can be a goal.”

Whether it’s giving kids hope for college or just helping them score goals on the playing field, Coaching Corps is devoted to the well being of children.

“I think that’s the basis of Coaching Corps, to really make an impact on kids’ lives,” Osmani said.