Meet Sophie Moore, Assistant Program Director at the Dallas, TX program, who is starting her Master’s in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Alabama. “What makes me come back every time is the Impact it has on the players,” Sophie, who is also a roving umpire shared. “Sports can have such a big impact on people and this was great to combine my professional interests with tennis.”
The University of Kansas graduate became involved in 2016 as a volunteer, then took on more responsibilities in 2017 as an Assistant Program Director. This past session, she helped take on the Program Director duty for a few weeks while current Program Director Adrienne Bransky was away. “It was a little scary at first, I was nervous especially during the first clinic I took over, but I felt good after,” the tennis enthusiast said. “Adrienne would send me court assignments, and I would pull out the rest and make sure everything ran smoothly.”
Sophie, who has always wanted to help others, has loved seeing the peer to peer integration that ACEing Autism brings. “There is not a lot of integration in class, we talk about it but it’s great to actually see it.” As she continues to study to become a speech pathologist, this program has also been great “to help me understand and find ways to make it more fun and engaging,” Sohpie who started tennis at 9 years old, explained.
The energetic and bubbly Texan, who has loved learning more about the population she might work with, has tremendously enjoyed watching them grow. “They go from being shy to a couple months later having conversations with peers and volunteers,” Sophie said excitedly.
As we finish up our conversation, Sophie has these as words of inspiration for new or potential volunteers. “See where the players are at and go from there,” she advised. “Figuring out what they are interested in and why they are there can be very helpful. Even if they don’t answer, they are still listening so there are many things outside of tennis you can work on.”