Help Amel get to U24 Worlds!

$3,080 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 61 people in 12 months
Hello! My name is Amel Awadelkarim and I’m from State College, Pennsylvania. Next January, I will be flying to Australia to compete in the Under-24 World Ultimate Championships, and I could really use your help to get there.

Ultimate and Me
I just graduated after five years at the Pennsylvania State University with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics. As a freshman at Penn State, I joined the PSU Women’s Ultimate team, Crisis.

One thing you should know about me is that I had never played an organized sport before playing Ultimate. I was always interested in sports & athletics, but my abilities never ventured further than neighborhood football games in my youth. I learned about Ultimate through a friend of mine after my senior year of high school, and decided to give it a try in college.

I became completely obsessed. I found myself waking up early to practice throwing before class at 9AM. I would end my days watching games on YouTube for fun. I would get to practice early and leave late to relish in the feeling of running around and chasing plastic.

At the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing on the field, but I knew that I loved the game and wanted more of it in my life. Now, I am devoted to taking every opportunity to become the best player that I can be. This initiative began when I decided to try out for a U24 National team last Fall.

Out of 550 applicants from across the country, I was so fortunate to have been invited to the second round of tryouts in Columbus, OH this past June. Two days of drills, fitness tests, and full-field scrimmages proved to be taxing on our bodies, but I was having a blast playing the sport I love with new friends.

When I received the email in July saying that I had been selected to represent the USA on the Women’s National team, I was so overcome with astonishment and joy that I could not sit down for 2 hours. Almost an entire year of daydreaming about this opportunity has finally come to fruition, and I have never felt so honored in my life!

How can you help?
The 2018 World U24 Ultimate Championships are held in Perth, Australia on January 7th-13th. The women’s team will be competing against ten other international powerhouses, including Japan, Columbia, Canada, and more. This experience is so special to me, and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event. The only drawback is how expensive this journey will be:

Transportation to and from US Training Weekend, $400-$500
Room & Board (@ US Training Weekend), $50-$100
Transportation to and from Australia, $1,500-$2,000
Room & Board (@ Worlds), $985
Additional Expenses, $200-$300

Total = $3,200-$3,800

Unfortunately, these fees fall on the backs of us players. Most of us are students — I am beginning a PhD program in September — and we don’t have immediate access to the funds necessary to travel.

Now, my intention is not to convince you to donate money to my cause. I am fully aware that this trip is a privilege, and that I am fortunate to be able to pursue my passion.

This page is for my family members who want to support me in some way but can’t fly to Australia.
This page is for friends who have witnessed me and my obsession & feel compelled to contribute to my journey.
This page is for fellow Ultimate players who know how incredible of a chance this is.
Lastly, this page is for anyone who is looking to make one girl exceedingly happy.

I'm asking for any donation you are willing to give by December 20th. In return, you will receive all of my love and gratitude (+ other concrete incentives to come)! For more information, you can reach out to me personally, or message me via GoFundMe.

If nothing else, thank you for reading my story. I urge you to learn more about Ultimate, or try playing yourself. Maybe it can have the same effect on your life as it’s had on mine :)

+ Read More
WE DID IT! WE REALLY DID IT! I reached my goal in only 6 days! Thank you all so so much for your immediate generosity! I honestly can't imagine a more supportive community.

So what does this mean? The money raised so far goes an extremely long way in funding the trip. I will definitely not be needing to leave the page open until December..

However, since I began this page, USA Ultimate (the governing body for Ultimate) has informed us that the player fee of $316 is no longer covered by the organization. Therefore, there are $500-$1000 in additional expenses (see Story for cost breakdown).

I've decided to keep this page open until the end of the month (September 30th). All proceeds exceeding $3500 will be donated to the Girls Ultimate Movement (G.U.M.), an organization devoted to increasing female participation in the sport by focusing efforts on girls in their youth. You can read more about the movement on the G.U.M. webpage: http://gum.usaultimate.org

I want to thank you all again, from the bottom of my heart. You are all such wonderful human beings.

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$3,080 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 61 people in 12 months
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