Julia Kennedy

Daily Point of Light # 1451 Aug 26, 1999

Twenty-eight-year-old Julia Kennedy launched DC SCORES in 1994. Looking to address the need for quality after school programs, she committed herself to finding the right formula for inner city children.

DC SCORES finds effective ways to enable young people to express themselves with words, actions and leadership through after-school activities such as creative writing workgroups and a girls and boys soccer league. The program, now five years old, serves 500 children in the nation’s capital, with plans of expansion to Boston, Denver and Chicago.

Kennedy has a long history of volunteerism, dating back to when she was in high school. In high school and college, she worked in a soup kitchen, volunteered for four summers to build houses in Appalachia, and, after college, volunteered at a men's homeless shelter. Along with DC SCORES, Kennedy is involved in the DC AIDS Ride.

In 1994, Kennedy decided to put her commitment to service to use. As a Teach for America corps member, she saw her students with little to do after school. During her afternoons, she created the first girls' soccer program in DC public schools. Working with the support of the community, private businesses, local foundations and national corporations, DC SCORES was created. Kennedy's advocacy has helped the program expand to 16 schools in the DC area. Ongoing professional development is offered to teachers and coaches, parent outreach activities include a monthly newsletter, regular open houses and opportunities to volunteer and an annual service project takes place in each community.

As DC SCORES begins to expand, the parent organization will take on the name AMERICA SCORES. The program will encourage students in cities nationwide to work together to identify ways to express themselves creatively about important issues affecting their communities and their lives. Additionally, as with DC SCORES, students will learn to think critically, both on and off the soccer field, while developing community awareness, athletic prowess and improved self-expression through writing.

DC SCORES program teaches students to be dynamic and productive citizens in their communities, encouraging them, in turn, to lead others.