Meet our “Bonafied” player of the week!! Bona Kalil

Bona Kalil is a 4th grader at Cesar Chavez school. Soccer is Bona’s favorite sport and this is his 4th year in our program. Bona was born and raised in Ethiopia. He moved to the United States when he was five and at the time could not speak English. Playing soccer was a way for him to connect with others and make friends in his community.
The America scores program has provided Bona with the opportunity to not only develop his soccer skills, it has helped him understand the importance of nutrition combined with physical exercise. Bona enjoyed eating junk food and drinking soda but after being a part of the America Scores program he now says that too much soda and junk food isn’t helpful. He wants to balance his intake of junk food with healthier food choices.
In addition to his nutritional education, the America scores program encourages its participants to educate the mind as well as the body. We took Bona to Benson High School for a poetry slam where he was featured and performed poetry in front of hundreds of people. Bona is a young man of many talents, and dreams of one day becoming a professional soccer player and engineer. He loves to fix things and wants to help people in the same way that America Scores has helped him.
Bona’s coaches have taught him to stay humble and have good sportsmanship. He sees the importance of going to practice every day in order to learn the skills necessary to become a better player. In the same way, he feels that it is very important for him to go to school every day in order to get a good education. He is a firm believer in good sportsmanship. He helps players stop fights and will help his teammates and opponents up when they fall down. For Bona, good sportsmanship goes beyond the soccer field, it is an attitude that he carries with him everywhere he goes. He believes that having good sportsmanship will help him get into a good college and further his education.
Bona understands that the skills he is learning with America Scores is about more than just soccer, it’s about life. He sees the big picture, has big dreams, and is thankful for the opportunities that have been given to him. His teammates and coaches rave about his character, the energy he brings with him every day, and his commitment to become better both on and off the soccer pitch. Active Children Portland is honored to recognize Bona Kalil as this week’s “bonafied” player of the week.

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