Damian Gingerich, Freshman at International Charter School of Arizona, Talks Soccer and Being a Brother

How long have you been playing soccer?What is your favorite thing about playing?
I have been playing for 10 years with Phoenix Christian Soccer Club. My team is made up of refugee kids from all over the world. My favorite thing about playing is running around out there trying to work together with my teammates to score a goal. They are skilled players and I have enjoyed the challenge of playing with them.
You are the second oldest of 10, tell our readers what this is like. Unless my brothers and sisters have been chomping on candy all day, it’s not all that crazy. They are pretty well-behaved kids. I enjoy the friendship aspect now that us older ones are in our teens. My youngest sister is 1 ½ and she is a lot of fun, always happy and seeking to make people laugh.
With so many people around it’s pretty unlikely for anyone to get away with anything so I think that’s a positive aspect of large families.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I am always thinking about what I should do when the time comes for me to get a job. The more I think about it, the more I change my mind. First it was a veterinarian, and then it was a detective. The list can go on and on for miles. Now I’m interested in becoming a wildlife ecologist. It involves both animals and traveling which would be awesome. But, it’s probably going to change to something else in a month or two.
What is it like to be a foster brother to individuals with special needs? My family has provided care for people with special needs ever since I can remember and they have always been part of my everyday life. When I was younger I never saw them as anything other than “normal”, they are who they are just like everyone else. I’ve become best buds with some of them.
We liked to watch movies, fist bump, and just enjoy hanging out together.  Now that I am older my relationship has transitioned from a peer status to more of a protector and advocator. My life experience has been so much richer because of them in it!
How was being home-schooled different from going to ICSAZ? Do you like it so far? I enjoyed being home-schooled and am grateful for the experience. I enjoyed having my own schedule so that has probably been the biggest adjustment in attending a traditional school for the first time in my life. I was pretty nervous, and thought I was going to do badly. But thankfully, it has been going great and I enjoy the lessons provided by the teachers at ICSAZ.
What do you like most about attending ICSAZ? The small class sizes and the fact that the school is within walking distance to my house. I have enjoyed being challenged this year and think that the experience has been a positive one in furthering my edu



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