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8 Boston-area youths visit Obama, athletes from LA Kings, LA Galaxy at White House

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  March 26, 2013 06:15 PM

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America SCORES poet-athletes with Mike Magee.JPG

(John Maconga, America SCORES Boston director)

The eight local youths pose for a photo with LA Galaxy forward Mike Magee in the White House Tuesday.

Eight Boston-area youths went to the White House on Tuesday, saw President Obama, and met with some of the world’s top professional soccer and hockey players.

Two reigning national champions, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team, were honored by Obama for their recent title victories.

Children from one of three youth athletic programs in seven cities, including Boston, watched the ceremony in the East Room of the White House and then asked questions to a panel of the sports stars.

The local children who attended belong to the America SCORES Boston program.

America SCORES is a national nonprofit that teaches soccer, creative writing and service-learning to at-risk urban youth through both afterschool and summer programming.

The group (only first names provided) included: Jacob G., a fifth-grader at the Hennigan Elementary School in Jamaica Plain; Jenisys, a sixth-grader at Sharon Public Schools; Brandon H. and Brianna H., a fifth- and fourth-grader at the Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan; Jamee B., a sixth-grader at the Roosevelt K-8 School in Hyde Park; Jyda B., a sixth-grader at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury; Amya H., a fifth-grader in Wellesley Public Schools and Keiyara J., who attends the SCORES summer program.

Children from the America SCORES locations in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C., also attended Tuesday’s events, as will youths from the US Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program in Philadelphia and the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone programs in Washington, D.C., Columbus, Detroit and Philadelphia, according to the White House.

The event was also supported by MLS WORKS and the Kings Care Foundation, the league’s and team’s respectively community outreach initiatives, officials said.

The two professional sports teams originally planned to host a Let’s Move! exercise clinic for the children on the South Lawn of the White House. But, that was canceled because of the weather, so some of the athletes held a question and answer session with the youths instead, officials said.

The Kings, led by goaltender and UMass Amherst alum Jonathan Quick, won NHL’s Stanley Cup in June. The Galaxy, led by star David Beckham, won the MLS Cup in December.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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Front Row.JPG

(John Maconga, America SCORES Boston director)

Some of the soccer and hockey stars field questions from children at the White House Tuesday.

(White House / YouTube)

President Barack Obama honors the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Kings at the White House Tuesday.

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