The Mystics and Capital One Bank are teaming up once again to recognize the heroes in our community. As part of their long-standing "Investing for Good" philosophy, at every home game this season, Capital One bank is saluting the people who truly make a real and last difference in the communities we call home.
You can read about each Capital One Bank Community Champion winners below:
September 7, 2016 vs. Sky- Nanci Young, Founder, Nanci's Gift
Born in New York City and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, Nanci has called Maryland home for the last 30 years. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 and then three additional times in 2002, 2010 and 2013. Nanci says that “this is not the journey I would have chosen but it has made me uniquely qualified to speak to others about breast cancer.” She has experienced firsthand what it can do to families and has dedicated her life to helping those affected by it.
Nanci devotes time working with the newly diagnosed woman and the family, providing support in a variety of ways. In May 2010, Nanci received the news that her breast cancer had returned. At that time she decided there had to be something more she had to do than fighting breast cancer again. She was determined to take her experience and make it count for something special.
Her faith in God and her commitment to helping families led to the founding of Nanci’s Gift in January of 2015. She provides leadership and direction for the organization, raising awareness of the need to support families. Nanci oversees the Scholarship Award Program (SAP) and the Testing Assistance Program (TAP).
July 20, 2016 vs. Liberty - Lydia Monroe, Program Supervisor, Catholic Charities St. Maria's Meals
Every week, Lydia Pearl Monroe ensures more than 500 men, women, and children who are poor or homeless can have a delicious hot meal through Catholic Charities St. Maria’s Meals dinner program. She manages a team of volunteers who help serve the meal, always hot and freshly prepared, in two locations in the Washington-region. The St. Maria’s Meals program is a food truck for the homeless setting up shop Tuesdays in Prince George’s County and on Wednesdays just two blocks from the Verizon Center on G Street.
For Lydia Pearl, bringing together volunteers and those who are homeless over a hot meal has proven to be a great way for people to get to know each other and see past their first impressions. “I truly enjoy the clients. I have the opportunity to learn their names, their stories, and for an hour- offer them a great meal and a kind word. I also enjoy watching the volunteers experience giving back in ways that they may not have expected,”
“My favorite moment has been watching the progression of a client who went from standing in the food line to volunteering to serve dinner. Through his volunteer efforts, he was able to find gainful employment and housing with Catholic Charities. The client stills volunteers faithfully every Wednesday and encourages those in line to take advantage of Catholic Charities programs to get housing, employment and give back.”
June 26, 2016 vs. Lynx - Carmen Sturniolo & Lori Lindsey, Ambitious Athletics
Carmen Sturniolo, Head Coach/Owner
From 2007 - 2010, Carmen trained at a big box commercial gym in Washington, DC where he noticed the incomplete systems used to attempt to deliver a satisfied result to each member. He wanted to provide a better customer experience.
From 2009 - 2012 Carmen assisted the head Strength and Conditioning coach at the Landon school in Bethesda, Maryland and also served as a coach for the Landon Bears 6th grade baseball team.
Through the US Department of State, Carmen has helped educate adolescents from around the world through smart exercise and nutrition, including children from: Maldives, Russia, Bolivia, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, and the Palestinian territories.
Carmen continues to be a student of advanced physical education and stays up-to-date with the latest athletic research and understanding of the human body. His certification credentials include: IYCA Certified Youth Fitness Specialist II, Resistance Band Training, TRX, Gray Cook Functional Movement Screening, Annette Lang Integrated Stretch, AED/CPR.
Lori Lindsey, Assistant Head Coach
Lori is a former professional women’s soccer player who has represented her sport on both a national and international level. Her professional playing career spanned 12 years, with her most notable accomplishment representing the United States Women’s National Soccer Team at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany, and as an alternate at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Lori is one of only four players to have played in all three U.S. professional women’s soccer leagues. She finished her career in December 2014 with Canberra United of the Australian W-League, where she played the past two seasons. Lori was a two-time All-American at the University of Virginia and ACC Player of the Year twice.
Lori is best known for her infectious humor, hard work and perseverance, a necessity given the demands and unpredictability of a professional soccer career.
Lori’s passion for fitness began during her freshman year in high school when she was first introduced to strength & conditioning. Growing up in Indiana, which isn’t considered a soccer hotbed, Lori realized she needed to find additional, creative ways to keep in shape since she was competing against other soccer players who lived in environments that enabled year-round training. Enter strength training. She quickly saw the benefits of such training and how it aided in her overall body awareness and athleticism, as well as ultimately keeping her injury free.
During 2006-09, while also playing, Lori worked as a personal trainer at a commercial gym in D.C. This allowed her to pursue her passion and impart her knowledge of strength training to help others enhance their well-being.
June 24, 2016 vs. Mercury - Jason Laney, SMYAL
Jason Laney serves as the Development Director at SMYAL, the community based organization that supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy. Jason comes to SMYAL with more than 10 years of experience working in the non-profit industry as both a staff member and volunteer with numerous organizations. He is originally from Asheville, NC and graduated from Furman University with a degree in Political Science. He has worked for several different membership and trade associations in various capacities including event and convention planning, exhibit sales and management, membership recruitment, and volunteer management. In a volunteer capacity, he is a member of the Human Rights Campaign Board of Governors where he served as Co-Chair of the 2013 and 2014 HRC National Dinners and Greater Washington, DC Federal Club Co-Chair. He is currently a member of the HRC National Board of Governors Executive Committee. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for the DC LGBT Community Center where he served on the Finance and Board Development Committees. Jason loves traveling, outdoor activities--especially snow skiing, and participating in the many cultural opportunities offered in the DC region.
June 1, 2016 vs. Sky - Delfone Prince, Theodore G. Davis Middle School
Delfone Prince is the Media IA at Theodore G. Davis Middle School in Charles County Maryland. Prince enjoys working with children and believes a key component of a student’s success is academic and extra-curricular activities.
Since Theodore G. Davis Middle School opened in 2007, Prince has helped students achieve success as an advisor to multiple clubs. Prince has organized club-level and school-wide events at Davis to instill students with enthusiasm as they develop leadership skills, team building opportunities and community awareness. Delfone Prince helps to coordinate and develop opportunities for students to work together and within their community.
The students Delfone Prince has advised have continued their service at the high school level, have served on county boards and state executive boards. In 2012, Mrs. Prince was honored with the 2012-2013 Middle School Advisor of the Year award by the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) for her involvement in student-centered activities, for displaying outstanding leadership and her contributions to student councils and student success.
May 20, 2016 vs. Sparks - Miles Makdisi, Playworks, DC
Miles Makdisi is the Development Manager for Playworks, DC. With Playworks, Miles builds partnerships in the DC community to support and highlight the work of Playworks, as well as manages events for the organization.
Playworks is the leading nonprofit in the DC community leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical, social and emotional health. Playworks currently serves more than 18 schools in the district, and reaches over 8,000 students directly with our in-school programming. We are building tomorrow’s citizens by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.
Miles came to Playworks as an experienced social entrepreneur. A lifetime athlete, Miles combined two of his passions, sports and social justice, to found the NGO, "Sports for Development," in Colombia in 2012. With a focus on program sustainability through local ownership, Sports for Development and his following venture, Colombia Lacrosse Association, are now under direction of Colombian leadership.
Since moving to Washington, DC from Colombia in 2014, Miles has completed his Masters in Social Enterprise at American University and served as a consultant for small and medium sized social enterprises in the areas of revenue generation, strategic planning, and impact measurement. A developing thought leader in the field of Sports for Development, Miles is currently working to publish a report on measuring the impact that Sports have on community development.
May 14, 2016 vs. Liberty - Nicole Lynn Lewis, Generation Hope
Nicole Lynn Lewis serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Generation Hope, an organization which she founded in March 2010. As CEO, Nicole oversees all aspects of Generation Hope’s operations.
Nicole founded Generation Hope because after completing college as a teen mother despite tremendous obstacles, she wanted to help other teen parents earn their college degrees and achieve stable and successful futures. She named the organization Generation Hope because in her own words, "Hope is the number one, necessary, secret ingredient to anyone’s success." Generation Hope reduces poverty one family at a time by providing direct sponsorships and one-on-one mentoring to D.C. area teen parents who are attending college.
In just five years, Nicole has created a truly unique and thriving organization that is gaining national attention for its sole focus on college completion for teen parents. As a testament to her work, Nicole was named a 2014 CNN Hero in June 2014. She is emerging as a leader in the youth, higher ed, and teen pregnancy/parenting fields.
Prior to founding the organization, Nicole worked for five years with other nonprofit organizations dedicated to youth and/or poverty, providing expertise in the areas of strategic planning, fundraising, and marketing/public relations. Before her nonprofit work, Nicole was a communications and public relations professional for two years with companies in the Washington DC area, such as GEICO. She is also a nationally known author and speaker on topics such as teen pregnancy and parenting, youth development, goal achievement, and self empowerment.