Making a Difference

As you know, skating is an expensive sport - ice time, coach fees, quality equipment, music, costumes, travel expenses, and skates all add up. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in skating and want to continue to impart my knowledge to not only new skaters and parents, but also to those need additional support and resources. I enjoy dedicating my time to volunteering as it provides me much fulfillment and allows me to inspire a new generation of skaters. I also get to make new friends with so many interesting people from different cultures and backgrounds. Through my teaching, I strive to provide my students encouragement and emotional support, empowering them to develop their courage and self-confidence.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be volunteering at Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH) this summer. FSH offers a 6-week Summer Dreams Camp starting July 8 through August 15. Now that I can finally drive, I will be able to travel to the Ice Hutch rink in Mt Vernon, NY to to teach the Learn-to-Skate program to young girls.

I first heard about FSH when I came across a video clip posted by On Ice Perspectives on the Learn-to-Skate USA Facebook page. After watching a performance by some FSH members, I was intrigued to learn more about them. Similar to my involvement with Girl Scouts, FSH fosters a sisterhood by providing opportunities for young women to work and learn together, building their self-esteem and confidence. These girls are taught the necessary skills to help them achieve their dreams and become future leaders.

Yesterday was my first day at FSH and I plan to volunteer every Thursday during the summer. There were over 85 young girls who were all so eager to get started on the ice and learn new skills. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that all of the girls already had some basic skating knowledge as they skated over to me with ease. My group of 11 girls practiced forward crossovers, snowplow stops, lunges, and one foot glides. We then incorporated all these elements into a fun and interactive performance to the song, “Girl on Fire.”

FSH was founded in 1997 by Sharon Cohen who wanted to provide a skating education program for young women of Harlem. She wanted to offer a fun and safe environment for these girls to come together after school and further learn and work together. This non-profit organization offers after school academic enrichment and support along with group fitness classes and skating instruction which align with the USFS Learn to Skate USA program.

I look forward to making many new friends and a difference in these young girls’ lives.