Category Archives for Spotlight

SportsHopes Spotlight: July 29, 2016

Jacob Boisse is the kind of kid who might be president one day, possibly the first Hispanic-American president ever in the United States. His ancestry is Mexican on his father’s side and Spanish on his mother’s side. He is a hard-working, bright, articulate and determined Student and Athlete who has always wanted to serve his country as his father did in the U.S. Marines.
As a young man growing up some of Jacob’s favorite television channels to watch have been the History channel and the Military channel. A favorite strategic-thinking board game is RISK. As a youngster he played in the dirt in front of his house with plastic toy figurines who were engaged in make-believe battles protecting all that is good in the world. Jacob felt his calling then and he has been focusing on that pathway ever since.
Prior to his graduation from Castro Valley High School in 2014 he applied to a diverse number of colleges with strong military service programs and partnerships. He chose the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA, which offers military and corporate business career pathways. Jacob is majoring in Global Studies in International Maritime Affairs.
“If there’s something you really want to do research it and talk with people about it. The more you do early-on it helps you to setup a path to the goal. Don’t wait until you graduate from high school (or college) to try and figure it out. I’ve seen a lot of kids do that and many end up in a job that they more or less fell into, instead of a career they were truly interested in and had a passion for. Realize though that no plan is concrete, things can change, so have flexibility and patience.”
“I always knew I wanted to be an officer in a branch of the U.S. military. I visited the Marine Officer office in Berkeley, CA, where they helped me to understand the process to become an officer. During my first year of college I applied for Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) which is one of the paths that can lead to commissioning in the Marine Corps. The application involved a lot of paperwork including my academic transcripts, SAT/ACT testing, Letters of Recommendation and also physical fitness evaluations. It is a very competitive program. I was accepted into the PLC which requires two six-week long cycles of rigorous training, screening and evaluation at Marine Corps Officer Candidates School (OCS) in Quantico, VA.”
“In April 2016 towards the end of my sophomore year in college I traveled to Romania, Bulgaria, to fulfill an international experience graduation requirement pertaining to my major. I met with port managers and CEO’s there to better understand the logistics and politics of global affairs and wrote a paper on the subject of the American military presence within that country. Four days after returning home from Bulgaria I left for OCS in Quantico.”
(OCS is a combination of heaven and hell where situations of chaos and instability constantly occur where candidates are evaluated on leadership potential and mental, moral and physical qualities. – SH)
“There are constant unknown factors you deal with at OCS but you are not alone. All of us candidates, men and women, are in it together. We all had to do the same things. You just have to do it. Don’t fall behind. Don’t quit. Don’t be that guy. The fear of failure got us through. Failing was not an option and not acceptable. You have to have mental toughness. Things may not go perfect. If you make a mistake learn from it, don’t dwell on it and MOVE FORWARD.”
What’s up next for Jacob? He is soon starting his third year, junior year, at the Maritime Academy. In addition, he’ll report to his regional platoon where his role will be to mentor, train and prepare new PLC applicants as well as prepare himself for his second of two six-weeks at OCS end of junior year. He will also compete as a Student-Athlete for his third year on the Maritime Academy rowing team. When he was in high school he was a distance runner and for many years prior to that he was a martial arts instructor and student.
After completing his second six-weeks at OCS he will complete his senior year of college and graduate. A four-year college bachelors degree (and a high school diploma) are required to become an officer. If all goes well, with all of the hard work, planning, dedication and grit, Jacob will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. At that point he will depart to The Basic School (TBS) at Quantico. TBS is a six-month higher level Marine training program. After TBS, depending on one’s status, officers will go into a field of qualified high interest.
“My areas of interest are in Intelligence and in Armor. The location where I will be assigned can be anywhere in the world. I will be a Marine officer and I am proud to serve and lead.”
Jacob turned 20-years old in July 2016. For a young man he is quite grownup and shares words of inspiration to other youth: “Go after your passion big or small and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Only you can determine whether you have the heart and dedication to get there. If and when you need help along the way figure it out. Make good choices and decisions. Think strategic and plan. You can accomplish anything!”
Good luck to you, Jacob, we are proud of you and look forward to staying in touch and seeing you go and grow!
Photos: Jacob at completion of first PLC 2016; Jacob while in high school with his father, James, and mother, Jeanette, all part of the SportsHopes family.

SportsHopes Spotlight: July 15, 2016

It is young people who will lead us forward to bright futures. Proud to introduce three new Student-Athlete Mentors for SportsHopes. All maintained excellent academics while in high school, are upstanding young people in our local communities and competed in sports while in high school. Congratulations and much appreciation to you all!

Donovan Kimball: Donovan is a freshman at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is a 2016 graduate of James Logan High School in Union City, CA. While in high school he competed on the football and basketball teams. Football is his favorite sport and he has welcomed an opportunity to train and walk-on to UNLV Football. Donovan has many fields of interest and will focus on selecting a major after he completes his first two years of undergraduate studies. Home base: Union City, CA
“Keep persevering. It’s what you do when challenges occur that will lead you to success.”

Garvey Buchongo: Garvey is a freshman at Califonia State University, Sonoma, where she will compete in track and field. Garvey is a 2016 graduate of Hercules High School in Hercules, CA. During her high school years she competed in track and field and she also founded a tiny organization called “The Freedom to Run” project which donates lightly used track and field shoes and clothes to youth in need who participate in the sport. Garvey is interested in Kinesiology as a field of study. Home base: Hercules, CA
“Be an inspiration to yourself. Self-motivation is the basis for inspiring others.”

Ian Hutchinson: Ian is a freshman at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, CA, where he will compete in cross country and track. Ian is a 2016 graduate of Newark Memorial High School in Newark, CA. While in high school he also competed in cross county and track distance races. Ian plans to study Business and will apply to the Haas School of Business at Cal. Home base: Newark, CA
“Never forget who has helped you along the way. Without them many things would not be possible.”

SportsHopes Spotlight: July 9, 2016

Dynamic siblings they are, Terrence “TJ” Daniel and Martina Daniel, of Hayward, CA. In 2016 TJ graduated from University of Oregon with two degrees, a BA in Journalism (with an emphasis in Advertising) and a BA in Social Science (with an emphasis in Applied Economics). Younger sister, Martina, in 2016 graduated from Bishop O’Dowd Catholic High School in Oakland, CA, and will attend Xavier University (a historically black, private, Catholic college) located in New Orleans, LA. TJ played football while at U of O and has one season left to play which he plans to do this year. During his high school years he was a football player and basketball player, but as happens with a lot of Student-Athletes it is hard to get visibility to college coaches as there are so many high school and community college student-athletes vying for the same limited number of slots at four-year colleges. To better position himself while in high school TJ took the time to prepare and reach out to college coaches via emails and phone calls, he had his academic transcript ready, he had taken the SAT test, he had his video highlights and stats available. Connections were established with college coaches and he was recruited to Oregon. Martina competed in volleyball, basketball and cheerleading during her high school and middle school years. She loves sports but at this time plans to focus on academics at Xavier, a school she chose as a good fit for its excellence in the field of sciences. In a 2015 New York Times Magazine article, Xavier University was praised for being a top pathway producer to medical school for blacks. Great job, TJ and Martina, we are proud of you and look forward to seeing the positive impacts you will have in our world!

SportsHopes Spotlight: June 24, 2016

This photo is of the PAC-12 Student-Athlete college graduates who were chosen by their colleges and the PAC-12 in June 2014 to work in paid six-month internships at the PAC-12 headquarters in San Francisco for the second half of that year. When SportsHopes helps kids to understand the importance of networking while in college and also the importance of working or volunteering part-time for their college (while in college), in their field of interest/passion, it’s because the experiences and connections made are important and can provide life-long career pathway opportunities and friendships. Some of the pictured Student-Athletes worked for their Athletics Departments as did the UC Berkeley “California” Student-Athlete, Dash Oliver, who is a Founding Student-Athlete Mentor for SportsHopes. It’s not easy going to college, working and participating in sports all at the same time but it is doable. Time management, determination, focus and making smart choices are key. It is up to you, you can do it, go get your future!

SportsHopes Spotlight: June 17, 2016

Academics count big time for anyone trying to go to a four-year college and this includes of course all Student-Athletes. Four-year colleges have minimum GPA requirements of Student-Athletes and very often the required GPA is a 3.0 minimum or so. It is humbling to meet young Student-Athletes who on the Academic side are trying very hard to go above and beyond the minimums. This week SportsHopes met with Kendall Hefner and her Mom, Beth Hefner. Kendall just completed her sophomore year at Castro Valley High School in CV, CA, where her JV Soccer Team went Overall 12-3-2 and in League 7-1-1. Kendall is a self-proclaimed SoccerGirl who also plays club soccer and is looking to participate in track as a sprinter in 2016-2017. Her total GPA by the way is a 3.94 and she’s very into STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Sophomore year she completed Honors Chemistry, Honors Pre-Calculus and Spanish 3. It’s not easy but you are making it happen. Fantastic job, young lady!

SportsHopes Spotlight: May 9, 2016

Local Student-Athlete, Alitta Boyd, has been working extremely hard to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics as a Horizontal Jumper as well as continue to compete at high level meets which involves travel and expenses. She is a great young lady who graduated from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, CA, followed by graduating from USC and competing in Horizontal Jumps while there. Like many post-collegiate Student-Athletes, Alitta also works a regular job as it is very costly to do what it takes to move forward in one’s passion for all things Track & Field, but she sure is trying. If you can help her get there it would be so much appreciated. Her mom, Diane Blackwell is a retired Oakland, CA, police officer who spends a lot of time volunteering to coach youth. Good luck, Alitta, and thank you Community for any help you can share via her GoFundMe: