Maris and friend Johanna pose with Goldy Gopher at a University of Minnesota women’s soccer match

Talents Unearthed in America

I had a great opportunity to join the girls’ soccer team even though I had never played before! In Thailand, not many girls play soccer, and there is not a girls’ soccer team at school. So I have only played with a ball with my brother and my cousins, but it was not even soccer.

My coach and my friends taught me how to play, and I thought it was very exciting. In the first game as a team player, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed playing our game very much. As it came to the end of the soccer season, our coach invited everybody to eat dinner together and gave awards for the best player of the year. Guess what? I was awarded “Most Aggressive Award” of the year from my school! I can do it! Now soccer is one of my favorite sports! 

—Maris (Thailand), hosted by the (Nygren) family (MN)