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Former Sounders Marcus Hahnemann and Santa Maria Rivera may come from completely different cultural backgrounds, but their love of the beautiful game of soccer unites them. Soccer is not the only commonality between them – they both figured out at a young age the power of goal setting and what you can achieve with the simple habit of writing down your goals. Or as Santa Maria likes to describe it - “when you write down your goals, you are painting a picture of what you want your future to look like.”
In 2016, Marcus and Santa teamed up with Redapt as part of their community outreach efforts to attend as many middle schools as possible with their “Set A Goal, Score A Goal” presentation. During their speeches, they both shared anecdotes of how a simple piece of paper and pencil helped transform their early lives by accomplishing small goals. All of these little victories eventually led them to the ultimate purpose of becoming professional soccer players.
On Wednesday, March 23rd, they were kindly invited to present to their largest audience to date at Chinook Middle School in the SeaTac neighborhood. The school was kind enough to reserve the whole gym and divided it into two separate sessions, consisting of 150 students each. Aside from Santa Maria not knowing how to work the projector, everything went off without a hitch.
Both Marcus and Santa were able to spend equal amounts of time behind the mic, sharing their stories, interacting with students, and answering all sorts of questions. They even had time to meet their doppelgängers; a cheeky 6'4" bald headed gym teacher. The highlight of the morning for Santa Maria was when he noticed that a majority of the students in both sessions were of Mexican-American descent. The students were moved by Santa’s story of coming illegally to America as a migrant worker with his parents. Those students found a reliable connection with him and were very vocal in letting him know they were united.
For as much as they are different, Santa and Marcus still share the same passion for the game and their successful goal setting stories.
We want to thank Chinook Middle School for hosting us. Especial thanks to Nikyla Stock, Dean of Student Success for reaching out to us. We had a fantastic time.