AUG 29, 2023

Getting the ball rolling in her community

Signal Inspector Jessica Hensley played a lot of soccer in her youth, so it was a joy for her to start coaching her son’s U8 soccer team this year in the American Youth Soccer Association in Durand, MI. “At practice, I play soccer right along with the kids instead of calling out from the sidelines,” says Jessica. “They learn the technical skills but also the values of teamwork and sportsmanship. And I feel like a kid again myself. It keeps me young!”

Photo: Jessica and her son, 7-year old Waylon, at a practice.

Jessica volunteers about 25 hours a week from May 1 through the summer. The team practices twice a week with game days on Saturday and Sunday. “It can be hectic to make the time to do it but it is so worth it. I love teaching the kids, helping them to grow into better athletes, and seeing the smiles on their faces,” says Jessica, who has also coached her kids’ baseball and football teams in recent years.

The CN Railroaders in the Community Program recognizes Jessica’s volunteer work with grants to the soccer association. The funds are used to purchase new equipment bags, uniforms, and nets and maintain the field. “With inflation and the rising cost of everything, it’s good to have a program like this to support the community.”