Americorps Service Spotlight: Simba Gandari

simba.jpg “I wouldn’t do anything different.” That’s what Coach Simba says about these past two years as a LISC AmeriCorps member. Serving Chicago’s underserved youth has been an incredible experience for Simba, he does so by teaching them about living healthy and active lifestyles through the sport of soccer. Soccer and working with youth are two of Simba’s passions. 

Simba says, “The sight of joy on Urban Initiatives soccer players faces keeps me motivated to be the best soccer coach and mentor to them.” Always putting his players and their families first, Coach Simba spends countless hours at Tarkington School of Excellence and Jenner Academy making himself constantly available to help with homework, answer questions on healthy living or putting in extra work on the soccer field. 

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Coach Simba didn’t have a clue as to what AmeriCorps was or what he was initially getting himself into. Now, Simba is a second year LISC AmeriCorps member and has enjoyed giving two years of service to helping youth become better soccer players and even better students. Simba feels like he’s apart of the communities where he coaches soccer, “I feel like I’m building community through sport, having our kids take ownership of their team and schoolwork is key to helping them see the positive options they have rather than the negative ones they are exposed to in their neighborhoods.” 

Coach Simba strives to help Urban Initiatives players succeed and does so by the goodness of his heart. 

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