Take a Peek.....More Photos Below!
My name is Ya`nique, but most refer to me as Ya-Ya.
I am a ninth grade student who resides in Upstate New York in the town of Ballston Spa.
I have been playing soccer since the age of four and I am on a tireless pursuit to play the "beautiful game" (Pele`), making my universal footprint on the passion I hold most dearly and closely to my heart, and on the highest level (The United State's Youth National Team).
I am a center forward that loves a great attack, to shake a defender or 2, 3, or even 4 defenders and to then reap the glory of ripping a rocket (ball) in back of the net, which to me is my bliss....it's simply sublime....electric in fact!
My accomplishments are as follows:
2011/12 ENYYSA (Eastern New York Youth Assoc.) ODP Team Selection
2011/12 ENYYSA ODP Regional Tournament
2011/12 USYSA (United States Youth Soccer Assoc.) Region 1 Team Selection
2012/13 USYSA Region 1 Buffalo Regional Training
2012/13 USYSA National Pool Selection
2012/13 USYSA National Pool - Arizona National Camp
2012/13 USYSA Region 1 Camp - Kirkwood
2012/13 ENYYSA ODP Team Selection
2012/13 ENYYSA ODP Regional Tournament
2013/14 USYSA Region 1 Team Selection
2013/14 USYSA Region 1 - Boca Raton Trip Selection
2013/14 USYSA Region 1 - Costa Rica Trip Selection
2013 National Training Center Invitee**2013/2014 - USYSA Interregional All Star Team
To tell you more about me, it has been just my mom and I on this unwavering pursuit to fulfill my dreams for the full span of my life on a journey of unwavering commitment to live out my full promise of "rising to greatness"; sage advice I can remember my mom instilling in me since I can remember. I've been working myself since the age of 13 as a local soccer referee to help defray the cost as my mom has just returned to work having been laid off since November of 2012.
My mom, who carries a generosity of spirit incomparable to all others; has always placed my needs before her own and I have witnessed her selfless acts of self-sacrifice year after year despite all we endure. As I get older, I realize that she is my rock and biggest fan, and I want nothing more than to make her proud, but its seem that my dreams come at a costly price that my mom has always been willing to pay by swallowing her pride, and simply going without taking on pressure and financial distress that by virtue of my youth, I can't possibly comprehend.
We've endured many a hardship along the way and what I am certain of is that my constant travel becomes very costly. This February, my soccer exploits will take me abroad for the very first time and all the way to Costa Rica. I can't begin to tell you how over-the-top thrilled I am!
It's my hope, that through your generous contribution, you may help my mom and I pursue, but for our circumstances, what we never imagined could be possible.
Please know that my will is strong and I humbly appreciate your time, even if you've just read a little bit about the contents of my life. For the mere age of fourteen, I recognize that my vision is without limits and I must be the best representative of believing in myself, as by way of the charitable act of others who like me plan to make a social difference by virtue of attaining success, I may be able to one day also pay it forward and impact lasting change. I have already begun this life-long pledge through volunteering at the Regional Foodbank, working with learning disabled adults for Wildwood Programs and this past summer I volunteered for the Special Olympics 2013 Capital District Summer Regional Games.
My abundant gratitude to you all and may all your dreams be fulfilled in the spirit of each day knowing you are capable of "rising to greatness"!
If you have time, please read a press article written on my behalf and there are also more photos below:
GOLF, SOCCER AMONG TEEN'S INTERESTS
By Mike Collar
Playing golf since she was seven, the now 13-year old Ya'nique Van
Ness has honed her talent with the summer program "Hook A Kid On Golf."
So when Capitalareagolf.com needed a volunteer to help with the recent
charity Putting Contest at Orchard Creek Golf Course, organizers didn't
have to look far.
Van Ness, nicknamed "Ya-Ya," jumped at the chance. She was handed a
tape measure and showed what to do. Standing a few feet away from the
hole, Van Ness went to work and reported every result to the
Van Ness is an eighth-grader at Ballston Spa Middle School where she
plays varsity girls soccer. She's also a Region 1 soccer player and only
one of two in Eastern New York from the U13 age group. For the past
five years, Van Ness has played with the Albany Alleycats Premier Soccer
Team. This year she will vie for the U14 national team.
"This has much to do with my success,"
said Van Ness. "I've even been to the driving range with one of my
coaches who also plays semi-pro golf."
Capitalareagolf.com president Frank Ciarlo asked Van Ness to
participate in the Putting Contest two weeks ago, but she was playing in
the WAGS (Washington, D.C. Area Girls Soccer League) tournament for
soccer where her team made it to the finals. It's a tournament where
girls from around the country compete.
With a strong competitive streak, Van Ness said she'd like to putt in the contest next year.
"Although I didn't participate in the contest, the experience and
energy at the golf course was amazing and I loved witnessing all of the
putters compete," she said.
A CLASS ACT
Academically, Van Ness has huge ambitions to attend Harvard
University. She is taking accelerated classes at the middle school and
she's currently being courted by Emma Willard to attend as a
"I want to attend Emma Willard school because I respect the founder's
mission to instill the habits of an intellectual life, and the
character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and
shape my world," said Van Ness.
As for extracurricular activities, Van Ness has been playing violin
and piano since she was four and competed in NYSSMA since the age seven.
Recently, she stopped competing in music because of her other intense
training. She now plays violin in the Ballston Spa Middle School
orchestra and sings in their choir. When not training, Van Ness is an
avid reader and can read several books at one time. She's been reading
books since she was two.
"As her mother, I have been honored to travel this journey of both
triumphs and sacrifices with such an amazing young leader, my child,"
said Van Ness' mother Sherelle Perryman. "Paradoxically, as a
single-parent, one would think that our ambitions would be stalled by
hardships, and although they exist, I've always instilled that
irrespective of your trials in life, you owe it to yourself to rise to
greatness, never accept defeat and know that you are capable of
achieving the impossible."
While Van Ness maintains a very busy schedule, golf will play a big part.
"I love golf," Van Ness said. "It's a great sport and a great way to
make friends and connections with other people who have a common
"I learned to play golf in 2008 when I attended the "˜Hook a Kid On
Golf' camp. What intrigues me about the game is the excitement after
hitting the best drive or putt, and after you feel that joy you want to
go back and keep practicing to make your swing even better. I don't
practice golf that often, but I'm trying to balance schoolwork,
Alleycats Premier Soccer, ODP (Olympic Development Program) soccer and
Of course, Van Ness has a role model in golf and it happens to be Saratoga-native Dottie Pepper.
"I met her over the summer," said Van Ness. "She gave me tips on how
to find time to practice golf. She is definitely a role model of mine.
Another favorite golfer of mine is Ginger Howard
who I also met over the summer. I saw her play and she was amazing. She
is definitely a role model of mine also, to accomplish so much at such a
young age is admirable.
"One of my favorite athletes and people is my coach, Betsy Drambour, a
former U.S. Women's National team soccer player, semi-pro golfer and
beloved family friend. She has taught me that despite hardships, always
bring integrity to your game and give back to your community to inspire
others by exhibiting excellence and honor for your sport."
Van Ness is fortunate to be guided and supported by her family and hopes for a bright future.
"We, as a family, also never lose sight of the many people; beloved
grandparents, teachers, family friends and coaches who have been
instrumental in lending their time and service to make her dreams the
attainable as opposed to the impossible. For them, much of what has been
accomplished would not be possible," said Perryman.