What do Tim Howard, Mahamoud Abdul-Rauf, Jim Eisenreich, David Beckham, Eric Bernotas and Steve Wallace all have in common? They are all current or former athletes that have been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS), just like I was when I was ten years old. But they have not let TS define who they are and what they can accomplish as individuals or athletes, and neither do I!
As a person, I am determined and dedicated to being the best that I can be, and continue to push myself to be better than the day before. I am also very funny, and love to joke around with my friends, listen to different types of music, and can often be seen dancing pretty much everywhere I go, even if I am not actually listening to music at the time.
As a student, I am mostly quiet and hard working. In first grade, testing determined that I was “talented and gifted,” and I have followed the “TAG” program with my classes since, including starting high school level classes in the 7th grade. I am now in my High School’s SUMMIT AP Program, and am on course to complete nine AP classes by graduation, including taking the College AP Exam for each. Some classes are harder than others, but I assert myself, do my best to stay focused, and get the necessary assistance that allows me to push myself to get through even the hardest classes.
As an athlete, I started playing intermural soccer at the U9 level in the spring, followed by my first travel team at the start of the next fall season at the U10 level. Currently, I am the goalkeeper for one of my Club’s Travel teams, playing in The Club Champions League (U17) Premiership Division. We will also begin playing in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP South Atlantic Premier I in the Spring, 2019. I play for my High School Varsity squad, and have been part of the Maryland State ODP Player Pool as both a U14 and U16 player. I am an active and vocal goalkeeper, and communicate to my teammates loudly from end to end of the pitch. While I receive many compliments from other players and coaches about how polished my technique, reaction timing and accuracy are in: saves, goal kicks, punts and throws, I try to keep a level head, and am always looking for ways to improve my skill set. I always encourage my Coaches to push me to develop to the next level so I can achieve my goals and highest potential.