Kickin’ It For Kenya

SNOHOMISH — Students weren’t quietly studying Tuesday in marketing teacher Alicia Sents’ room at Glacier Peak High School.

Instead they were deflating soccer balls and sorting pairs of soccer cleats.

The used soccer equipment was donated to the Kickin’ It For Kenya soccer ball and equipment drive. Sents’ students organized the drive after a Glacier Park foreign exchange student talked to their class in April about his home country.

Solomon Nkinai, 18, told his schoolmates about his life in Kajiado in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. He described his village, his school and spoke about hunting lion. He talked about his love for soccer and how kids in Kenya play with homemade soccer balls of garbage bags, tarps, rope or string.

“I remember one time we decided to collect money to buy some soccer balls and we couldn’t even afford to buy one,” he said.

The students in the sports and entertainment marketing class decided they would help children in Kenya get traditional soccer balls and equipment. They introduced the Kickin’ It For Kenya drive during an assembly three days later. A friendly class competition was held May 3-14 to see what class could collect the most donations.

Soccer equipment continued to be dropped off, even after Beth Flansburg’s fifth period class won the prize — a pizza party.

Additional donations were given by the Seattle Sounders FC, the University of Washington Alumni soccer players and the Northwest Nationals Soccer Club. So far, they’ve collected more than 100 soccer balls and lots of other equipment.

Sents expects donations of balls, shoes, and jerseys to continue to be dropped off at the school until the end of the drive on June 4.

“When Solomon came to me I told him if we do this it’s going to be probably bigger than what you can imagine and it’s actually bigger than I thought, too,” Sents said. ”I knew there was a possibility of this kind of generosity from the community but I definitely was overwhelmed by the donations and help that has come out of this. It’s good for the students to see this and experience this.”

Nkinai started living with his Everett host family in August and began attending Glacier Peak at the beginning of the school year. He’s played soccer for five years. At Glacier Peak, he was part of the varsity cross country team and was a midfielder on the Glacier Peak junior varsity soccer team.

“I like playing soccer a lot,” he said. “I don’t really play for my school team because in Kenya it’s mostly strictly studies so if I spend my time playing sports it will affect my grades and that’s not an excuse in Kenya.”

Nkinai attends Olkejuado High School in Kenya. He studies to get good grades, he said, so he can become a dentist one day.

Nkinai will leave Washington and fly to Washington, D.C., on June 28. On July 3, he’ll return home to Kenya.

Sents and her class hope the soccer equipment won’t be far behind him.

“(Soccer equipment) will take about a month to get to Kenya,” Sents said. “Our goal is to have it there for him so he can help distribute them to the children and students.”

Organizing the soccer drive taught students how to contact different organizations like Seattle Sounders FC and how to get people involved in a cause, senior Cody Wollman, 18, said.

“This has been pretty fun,” he said. “It feels good to help out Solomon. We feel good he’s going back with something.”

The class is selling red, black, and green bracelets with the slogan “Kickin’ It For Kenya” for $1 during lunchtime to raise money to ship the donations to Kenya.

“We’re trying to raise money but we’ve been quoted $2,500 to ship 20 boxes of a certain size,” Sents said.

Junior Katie Brown, 17, said the soccer drive appears to be more popular than past fundraisers at the school.

“It’s just surprising that we would fill up the conference room,” Brown said. “I really don’t think (Solomon) was expecting that either.”

Brown didn’t know Nkinai before she helped to organize the Kickin’ It For Kenya drive but said they’ve talked a few times since.

“Every time I see him in the hallway I say, ‘Hey’” she said.

Nkinai said he would like to return to Washington some day and when he does, Glacier Peak will be one place he visits.

“When I come back I will not forget to come back here and say hi,” he said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

Kickin’ It For Kenya

New or gently used soccer equipment and monetary donations to help send the equipment to Kenya can be dropped off at Glacier Peak High School, 7401 144th Place SE, in Snohomish. Call the school at 360-563-7500 for more information about the Kickin’ It For Kenya soccer drive.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Bothell
2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)
Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.