Academic Overtime & Scholarship Support Opportunities
If you’re a current Fall 2023 Lawrence Youth Soccer player interested in extra educational assistance, click here or below. The FALL Academic Overtime Program started this October 2023!
It’s Make a Difference Dollars (MAD$) program means 18 cubicles now have state-of-the-art computers & printers, plus 12 months of tech support to help players #offthefield!
A group of college students through Merrimack College’s Service Learning Department started tutoring players this fall, beginning in early October like they did last winter and spring!
Paul Wennik’s dedication and “character” led to our first annual scholarship, which was awarded in June to Luiz Lopez. The Paul Wennik Outstanding Character Scholarship meant that Luiz received $5,000 in college tuition costs to attend UMass Lowell. For Luiz, it’s fulfilling a tuition gap that the family was trying to meet, and it was a total surprise! If we raise $100,000 by June 2024, the Cummings Foundation will contribute $50,000, which means the scholarship will live on in perpetuity and be awarded to more high school seniors like Luiz!
Academic Overtime is a growing off-the-field focus. We require all travel players to share their report cards. If we learn that a player is struggling in school, we do not exclude them from our teams but rather seek out mentors or other academic resources to help. In 2018, we ran our first after-school tutoring program, or Academic Overtime, for a handful of students with educational needs. It was staffed and coordinated by the wonderful Diane LaMonica, who has more than 25 years of teaching experience. Covid-19, unfortunately, shut that effort down. We restarted last spring, and now William Inirio, a former player, Central Catholic High School coach, and soon-to-be nurse, has stepped up as PT Academic Overtime Coordinator and brought back this important off-the-field focus.
We also learn about our players’ non-soccer interests and find opportunities to fuel those interests through local partnerships. For our oldest participants entering high school, we also monitor their transition and support them where needed. We also write dozens of high school, college, and job recommendations every year and now have our first-ever scholarship, the Paul “Lefty” Wennik Outstanding Character Scholarship Award (read more here).
Overall, we are constantly reinforcing classroom achievement. Because we offer such a powerful hook through sport, our participants stay with us for extended periods and are more open to “off the field” enrichment opportunities that expand and challenge their minds.
To promote “student-athlete,” every season, our travel teams compete for “the highest team GPA,” plus the first team that also hands in their report cards receives an outing!
FALL 2023 REPORT CARD COLLECTION IS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
Some of our Past and current Academic Enrichment Partners and Friends:
- Diane La Monica, retired teacher, & a handful of other retired teacher volunteers!
- Merrimack College Service Learning Department
- UMass Lowell Men’s Soccer Team
- Merrimack River Watershed
- Essex Art Center
- Lawrence Community Works
- Merrimack College Men’s & Women’s Soccer Program