When the future girls’ soccer captain, Evanilde Semedo, 17, went to the Boston School Committee at the end of last school year, she asked a simple question: “We have the team, why can’t we play?”
For two years she had been trying to petition the Boston Public Schools to start a girls’ soccer team at Boston International/Newcomers Academy.
Semedo and other students went to the committee and gave testimony to show their commitment to having a girls’ soccer team.
“At one time, even as a school leader, I felt like my girls were forgotten,” says Boston International headmaster, Nicole Bahnam. “Student voices are more powerful than the headmaster’s.”
Bahnam believes it was the girls’ unity that convinced Court Street to give the school a girls’ soccer team this year.
“The students really got the project off the ground,” agrees the girls’ coach, Panion Tase.
After the girls received notice that their wish for a team was granted by the superintendent, they had to work hard to put everything together in a short time.
There were no uniforms, and they had to find a coach and a practice field. As time passed, their situa- tion took a positive path. This year they had a record of seven wins, four losses, and two ties.
“Even though this is the first year the girls are playing soccer, they are doing great and they have a positive record,” says the school’s boys’ soccer assistant coach, Jose Daniel Sorto, 17.
On October 2, the girls went back to the school committee with their headmaster and thanked the superintendent for giving them the opportunity they always wanted.