I remember playing my first soccer game at the age of 5 for our Oak Hills Kick and Chase Team, “The Blueberries”. The coach called me “rover” because I was playing multiple positions all over the field. I didn’t realize it at the time, but aside from having fun playing the most popular sport on the globe, I was gaining invaluable experiences and certainly learning a lot. Fast forward 11 years, I continue to play the sport that I love competitively for Westside Timbers and Westview High School. Soccer has taught me the importance of teamwork, dedication, and work-ethic. These skills have translated to my entrepreneurial and leadership pursuits in my community as I launched PDX Concierge, my grocery delivery company.
I am the founder of PDX Concierge, a student-based free grocery delivery service for the elderly, immunocompromised, and disabled. We also deliver to those facing food insecurity or are otherwise i need. I started delivering groceries to my grandmother during the onset of the pandemic and have since grown to 50+ volunteers and 475+ deliveries made serving all of the Portland metro area, Salem, Eugene, and Vancouver, WA. By creating this service, I hope to keep people safe and support people in need of food assistance.
I played recreational soccer up until middle school when I was ready to take the next step in my soccer journey. When I tried out for RTC (Regional Training Center hosted by the Timbers), I remember the coaches and players would ask “What club do you play for?”. I would embarrassingly reply “I play Rec”, and in the end I wasn’t selected for the team. Next year however, I joined my first club, THUSC. I loved my club soccer experiences at THUSC and went on to make the RTC player pool the following year. This achievement; however, came with hours of work and practice. I would run and practice in my backyard everyday in the summer. I remember practicing my juggling and improving from being able to do 5 to 100s. My work-ethic developed thanks to soccer and my coaches. My club coaches would often stress that no matter how technical a player is, the most important attribute is work-ethic and commitment on the field. For example, we learn to run non-stop to put pressure on the opposite team, go into 50/50 tackes strong, and not give up when we’re down by many goals.
I apply this same work-ethic to PDX Concierge. I am responsible for guiding our volunteers, maintaining customer relations, and day-to-day operations. I put in this commitment with the satisfaction that we are able to help many in the community. One instance was when we delivered groceries to an elderly veteran who unfortunately sustained injuries during the Vietnam War. In another instance, we helped a woman who was isolated in a hotel room due to COVID-19 and was in dire need of food. Experiences like these are particularly rewarding and the opportunity to help these individuals has been life-changing for me. In this challenging time, PDX Concierge has given me a sense of compassion and purpose within my community.
The most important facet of my soccer journey is the friendships that I made. I remember the bus rides to games with the team and the times with teammates and parents while traveling to tournaments. I am grateful for the lifelong friendships I have made. Just like on the field, where we learn the power of playing as one, I have this same mindset when running PDX Concierge. I have a team of 50 amazing volunteers, many of whom have become great friends. PDX Concierge is able to operate in a streamlined manner and we are able to get numerous deliveries completed with teamwork and delegation. From this experience, I have grown as a team player, delegator and leader.
I plan to continue in my soccer journey with my Westside Timbers club team and with Westview High School. I will be forever grateful for the life experiences that soccer has provided me.
Westside Timbers and Westview HS Player
Founder, PDX Concierge