A transfer student from Santa Barbara City College, Shada is majoring in business with a minor in sports management at Dominican. Her dream is to gain employment in the NFL so to link a non-profit corporation with a professional team to help children in Africa where she was inspired by a chance encounter with a young boy.
Five years ago, Shada was in Africa with her family. She met an orphan and started kicking a makeshift soccer ball, she said was made out of rolled-up plastic bags.
“For the next hour and half we were just playing,” she says. “It was really cool. We couldn’t talk to each other because of the language barrier, but we could play a familiar game. That was the biggest thing I took away from the trip. Making a kid smile just by playing soccer with him.”
On that trip, Shada rode elephants, played with lion cubs and swam with sharks, yet the memory of that meeting with the child was more impacting. It moved her to want to volunteer abroad and has led her on a path to combine her love of sports with her desire to help children less fortunate in impoverish foreign counties.
Shada transferred to Dominican this fall, partially inspired by existing students at Dominican who were engaged in internships with professional sports teams in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her long-range goal is to earn her BA in business at Dominican, pursue a master’s degree in sports management then establish herself as an NFL employee who wants to make a difference overseas.
“I’ve always loved sports and kids,” she says. “I had this idea I could bring those two together and work in the sports industry and utilize their money and fame to help these kids who otherwise wouldn’t have these opportunities.”