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Jonah Silk is an experienced soccer coach pursuing his Master’s in Social Work at the University of Michigan, specializing in Sport and Social Work. He has coached and mentored many successful and many struggling athletes. Growing up, he was a multi-sport athlete who had to overcome many setbacks. His story is a part of Goals and Glory as well, and it allows him to relate well to, and help, young athletes.
During the summer after his senior year of high school, he suffered a complete fracture of his lower leg while playing at a recruit camp at Brown University. His tibia and fibula broke in four places, and he had two surgeries to repair his leg by inserting and screwing a titanium rod into his tibia. After a 7-month rehabilitation and relearning to walk and run, Jonah recovered and returned to soccer. He had many other previous injuries and was forced to sit out many times from the sports he loved. Returning to those sports helped him overcome the trauma that he experienced and taught him the power of sport and how to help others dealing with their own difficult setbacks. Jonah also used his love for sports to make it through instances of Antisemitism, and saw the ability of sports to unite people regardless of race, religion, or class.
Jonah had been a leading scorer in both soccer and hockey in high school in the New Haven, Connecticut, area, but he decided to pursue soccer in college. After his long rehabilitation, he played at Drew University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and minored in Holocaust and Jewish Studies, in 2010. In 2009, Jonah led Drew in scoring, collecting a Conference Offensive Player of the Week award that October. He truly felt the impact of setting goals, scoring goals, and recovering from setbacks to find glory. From this experience and witnessing other athletes go through worse, the Goals and Glory idea developed. He believed he had found his calling: to help struggling athletes overcome obstacles and reach their dreams.
Since college, Jonah has coached at the highest level of youth club soccer at the Player Development Academy (PDA), high school varsity soccer, and with Division 1 program Rutgers University. He has won a state championship with Oak Knoll High School in Summit, New Jersey, and earned Union County Coach of the Year honors in 2014. He won a state championship at the club level as well with the Under - 12 PDA Wolves. A team he coached from under 8 years old until Under -13 years of age. Most importantly, he has helped send many players to college to achieve their goals as scholar athletes.
Jim Silk - Binger Clinical Professor of Human Rights, Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. Director, Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. Yale Law School.
Joseph Mitchell - Teacher at North Star Academy in Newark, NJ. Director of Hudson River Soccer Academy. Former captain of Drew University soccer team.
Ronald Apter - Former U.S Assistant Attorney for the District of Connecticut. VP and General Counsel at The Hartford.
Madison Tiernan - High school All-American and NSCAA NJ Girl's soccer player of the year. Standout at Rutgers University starting 85 of 88 games she played in four years. Professional soccer player for Sky Blue FC of the NWSL.
Dave Brigandi - Senior Account Supervisor at Edelman Public Relations. Experienced in creative program development, sponsorships & partnerships, new business development, crisis management, media relations, and day-to-day support & counsel. Past marketing experience includes Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man, navigating brands through NFL’s 2017/2018 crisis, Dove Men+Care’s March Madness sponsorship, Campbell’s Chunky at Super Bowl, Starbucks' 40th Anniversary and more.