Meet Coach Michelle!

Coach Michelle Ramos dedicates her career to enhancing the sports experience for the youth she serves at Palmer, Lloyd and Barry Elementary Schools. Last year, Michelle started working at Palmer as a part-time Coach Across America and has since taken on a regular position facilitating recess during the school day and soccer-based youth development programming before and after school.

Michelle uses SBYD to make recess fun and engaging for over 900 students every day. From soccer, to football, to basketball and beyond, Michelle is committed to giving kids at Palmer opportunities to engage in sports during the school day. Many of the students she serves may not have access to sports otherwise. Knowing they get to have fun with Coach Michelle really fuels the student-athletes and is a time they anxiously await.

During recess kids come rushing out from the school, they put their feet on the white line and wait for Coach Michelle to share which sports and activities will be played that day. Within 30 seconds they’re off engaging in sports programming.

Michelle enhances these experiences not only by making them possible but also as a result of her positive attitude, extreme enthusiasm for sports, desire to build individual relationships with every youth she encounters, and utilization of sports-based teachable moments. She leads by example and gives her youth a voice in every session. During recess she models positive behavior and she provides a recap of the recess teachings at the end of each session: the goals met and the skills developed.

Michelle works tirelessly day in and day out in the arena of sports-based youth development. She has one of the strongest work ethics I have seen and she sustains the same level of high energy regardless of her circumstances. She appears to get more and more energetic and enthusiastic when she is surrounded by youth engaging in sport and she is a role model for positive engagement. You simply cannot be around Michelle and not want to join in whatever game she has the kids playing.

Sports have always been a part of Michelle’s life. To be able to give that opportunity to kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity is her reason for waking up every morning. She uses the sports she loves to give kids a chance to belong and to motivate them to grow in different ways. From the person you become, to the friends that you make, to the family you integrate with, to the unity you feel, Michelle maximizes the sport experience from nearly 1,000 children in underserved Chicago every day.

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