Oaks Christian Online (OCO) student Sammy D'Ambrosio recently returned from a three-week intensive soccer training academy in England. The training academy is hosted by the English Premier League which includes world renowned soccer teams such as: Manchester United, Rotherham, Liverpool, Arsenal, to name a few. The goal of the training academy is to prepare aspiring soccer players for professional-level competition.
Sammy's soccer club in Southern California is in the process of launching a girls' academy for the Los Angeles Galaxy, as a first step towards the formation of a women's LA Galaxy pro-team. LA Galaxy is a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise and one of the league's most-decorated clubs. It won the MLS Cup five times and received international attention by signing superstar David Beckham from Real Madrid in 2007. Sammy hopes her recent training in England by Premier League coaches will position her to be a first pick for the new LA Galaxy girl's academy. Sammy's current coach and assistant coach both played professional soccer in England for Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United, respectively. Her coaches have played a major role in helping her see her dreams come true.
Like many other OCO students pursuing their passions in sports, the performing arts, or missionary work abroad, Sammy says she chose to be a full-time OCO student because of the flexibility of the online program. Sammy states, "This allows me to have more time to play soccer during the day while still being able to learn at a time more convenient with my schedule." Being an OCO student also gives her discipline, responsibility and self-motivation to be a success. Sammy adds, "You need to know how to get your work done without waiting 'til the last minute. It's the perfect program for me! I can do an assignment, go on a training run around the neighborhood, then return to do more school work."
Besides living and breathing soccer since the age of eight, Sammy also likes cooking and traveling. When asked where she sees herself in five years, she states, "I hope to be at my dream college UCLA, playing soccer and majoring in English or History. And, what about Sammy's long-term goals? She sees herself working towards her dream of becoming the POTUS!
When asked to describe some of her favorite memories in soccer, Sammy says, "Some of my favorite memories would be one time when my team was playing this one tournament in Santa Barbara. We fought very hard but came down 1-0 and at the last minute my friend scored. It was unbelievable. We made it to penalties. My team was very nervous, and the penalty kicks were intense. I went first in the kicks and scored, my team followed in scoring and we won! After we got trophies and my coach gave the trophy to me naming me best player of the tournament. It was such a good feeling because we worked very hard to win as a team and we did it. Another good memory would be when we went to a soccer tournament in Apple Valley (not far from the famous ski resort Big Bear) and it snowed while we played! It was amazing because being a team from Southern California, many of us have never seen snow before. We actually got to play soccer in it. It was so amazing."
In addition to these favorite memories, being able to take part and receive top training with Rotherham United's girls' academy was definitely a recent highlight in Sammy's life. "I trained with a Premier League coach, Saul Issakson-Hurst, which was really good for me and, I also got featured on his Instagram page. Hopefully, I can get noticed by one of these Premier teams and have a chance to play professionally," she says.
ABOUT OAKS CHRISTIAN ONLINE AND THE ONLINE CHRISTIAN CONSORTIUM
Established in 2011, Oaks Christian Online provides a rigorous, NCAA approved, UC approved, college preparatory education for high school students all around the world in a Christian environment. The main campus, Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California, opened in the fall of 2000 and has over 1,400 on-campus students in grades 5 through 12. Oaks Christian School and Oaks Christian Online High School are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, as well as by the Southern Association of Independent Schools.
Oaks Christian Online enrolls part-time and full-time students throughout the school year and regularly hosts information sessions on its main campus located at 31749 La Tienda Drive, Westlake Village, as well as virtual information sessions for prospective students. Interested students and families can visit the website https://www.oakschristianonline.org/. One-hundred-percent of Oaks Christian Online graduates were accepted to four-year colleges.
Oaks Christian Online also offers workshops for parents and is in its third year of providing specialized seminars for parents and families on how to help nurture life-long faith in teens. These seminars are based on the Fuller Youth Institute's Sticky Faith research studies on the developmental phase of adolescence and spirituality. Both secular and religious research studies recognize faith and spirituality as major factors in a healthy transition into adulthood.
Oaks Christian Online is the founding school of the Online Christian Consortium, a leadership organization of schools committed to theologically engaged, college-preparatory, accredited, online programs. The organization's vision is that its courses provide an education that uplifts, transforms and inspires students around the world. For more information on The Online Christian Consortium, please visit: https://www.onlinechristianconsortium.org/.