At UKSD our mission is to use sports and movement to educate young people about social issues, to create the next generation of youth leaders through positive community interactions, and to allow the opportunity for teenagers to create the change they want to see in the world.
It’s hard to remember our lives before they shut down due to the pandemic. We were abruptly put on hold and we all had to make adjustments to what we knew as ‘normal’. We suffered, endured, and as humanity always does, we persisted and found a way to adapt. During the pandemic, we heard the phrase the ‘New Normal’, not knowing what it truly meant. Well, we are living it in our current lives. The pandemic feels like a distant memory, a brief pause to find new ways to live. As we always say at UKSD, every adversity is an opportunity to create something better and stronger and if we are not part of the solution, then we are part of the problem.
Summer of 2020, fresh out of the pandemic lockdown, myself and three other female UKSD youth leaders from Massachusetts were asked to represent UKSD in a new project which would involve collaborating with young women from an organization in Nagpur, India called Slum Soccer. The means behind the project was unknown, and we started with just having regular group Zoom meetings to learn about one another.
About 3 years ago, a young man came into the Barnstable and UKSD community who would impact all of us in ways we couldn’t have predicted. Zade Shepard moved to the United States with his family during his sophomore year of high school and found himself trying to acclimate to a new culture, a new school, and the interesting place that is Cape Cod.
The UKSD Blog