I am Nicolas Mejia, a student from Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, and an intern for Soccer in the Streets. Soccer in the Streets is a local Atlanta organization that uses soccer to help teens, within the Atlanta community, who are refugees due to social issues in their home countries. Our motto is “Play. Grow. Work. Succeed.” which really represents what we want our youth to enforce when they go out and live their day-to-day life. As for the experience of our youth, we wish to give a positive environment where everyone can be comfortable on the field. The same goes for the office, as we strive to always achieve a friendly environment. In the office, you are always part of the group. We have grown trust with one another that allows the whole team to work in a peaceful environment.
In my experience working at Soccer in the Streets, I have really enjoyed the environment here and I feel fit to perform the tasks I am given, which involve my strongest skills. When I come in every day, I have a daily plan set up so that I am occupied while my other co-workers arrive. Once my supervisor arrives, she is ready to tell me what we will do the rest of the day and we get right on it. I am almost always working on the computer, which actually fits me well as I am very tech savvy. I help set up the calendar on a program we use called Upshot and create documents. As I help in the office, I also feel like I help on the tasks we have outside of the office. I set up boxes that will be sent out to project sites, or I may even set up banners for an event, or at times, I create sign-up sheets for a pick-up event.
On some special occasions we go out of the office to other places for a project. One of my favorite projects has been the creation of the soccer nets at our most recent project called, Station Soccer; the first soccer station built within a station. Initially, we had to carry the posts of the goals to the field. Each one was sizable and heavy so we had to make two trips from the shoppe to the field. Once we transported the goals to the field, we had to install the netting with metal chains. I had the pleasure of finishing installing one of the nets and take a few shots in order to see their durability. Another trip that we made was around the street near the office. I managed to see the new building for my school, enter Ebenezer Baptist Church which was one of Martin Luther King’s local churches, and I even had the chance to see a statue of Gandhi which lies directly in front of a pathway of feet that were imprinted by peaceful leaders.
On many occasions we also host special meetings or projects in the office. A while back, around the time I began working here, the office had just recently relocated and needed some organizing; I was responsible of organizing and labeling one of our major closets. It took a while to find a way to organize it, but eventually I managed to set it up to where all you had to do was locate the item you were looking for on a list and it would lead you directly to a section. Another task I was responsible for was copying notes from the board and then formatting them the same way they were on the board. I had to color code certain notes and make comments on the side as they were on the board. In the end I learned something new about Google Docs’ formatting, which I eventually used for a project in my World History class.
Out of work, I have also tried to contribute to Soccer in the Streets. I came to the inauguration for Station Soccer where I was able to meet with Tony, who is currently the Atlanta United Academy Director, and see whether he had space for a player on the team. The team was already full, but luckily they have tryouts in August and he invited me to come and show my potential. Another event I went to was the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School collaboration with Soccer in the Streets at Station Soccer where they filmed us playing and testing out the new field. Also, a huge event that I collaborated on, both in the office and on the field, was the first pick-up match at Station Soccer. I helped create the sign-up sheet and I got to play the entire day, so it was a win-win situation.
Honestly, being chosen to work at Soccer in the Streets was the most unexpected event in my life. I knew that when my Corporate Work Study Manager talked to me about this job she had heard my opinion of it and that I would love to see what it was about. However, I had no idea she had actually chosen me to have the privilege of working here. Even my companions at the school were amazed by how lucky I was for getting the chance to come and work here. I am thankful that I was chosen because coming to work here has opened me up to a whole new variety of careers; careers that my previous job did not, and that add onto my list for my future.
Student, Class of 2019
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School