Megan Tabler, a Trailblazer for Girls Soccer Worldwide, answered a few questions about GSW, her role in bringing the backpacks to the kids of Antequerra, and what she does in her day to day life!
Read her testimony below:
What was it like giving out backpacks? What did it feel like?
Giving out the backpacks in Paraguay was a humbling experience. I have chills thinking about handing out the backpacks right now because it was such an impactful experience. I can vividly remember lining up the backpacks with supplies in them, shorts, shirts, and a pair of tennis shoes in an assembly line and seeing the students patiently lineup and watch with wide eyes as they waited for their turn to go collect their backpacks. For the majority of us on the trip, getting a new backpack, supplies and school clothes was routine growing up, however, that wasn’t the case for these students. Their faces of happiness, excitement, and appreciation left me constantly blinking fighting back tears. To know that we were giving a student a notepad and markers to draw/color and use their imagination or even practice writing, or to know that we were giving a student a brand new pair of shoes to wear to protect their feet from walking to and from school was very powerful. These backpacks showed that we believed in each student. That we wanted to see them succeed and that they CAN succeed. It was neat to watch the students instantly showcase the level of confidence the new backpacks gave them.
How I got started with GSW:
I played club soccer for Pleasanton Rage where Walter Pratte was my coach. I went off to play college soccer at Chico State University for four years where my passion for the sport only grew. After my senior college season finished, I knew I wasn’t done playing the sport I loved so I moved to England to continue playing and received my master’s degree. After I finished my master’s degree I moved to Sweden where I signed to play professionally for Vasteras BK30. After moving home from living abroad, I ran into Walter where he asked if I wanted to help him coach the Foothill High School Varsity soccer team (my alma mater). Coaching high school with Walter is where I first learned about Girls Soccer Worldwide. The first trip to Paraguay had just completed and I heard the girls experience and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. In November 2017 I went on my first trip to South America and I’ve been on the journey with GSW ever since!
What I do now:
Aside from Girls Soccer Worldwide, I work full-time for a tech company in San Francisco called Hired as a Customer Success Manager. At Hired our mission is to help everyone find a job they love (how cool is that!). I spend my days client facing working with recruiters and hiring managers to make sure they are utilizing our platform correctly, seeing the right caliber of candidates for their open roles and ultimately ensuring that the companies I support are having success. It fuels me to know that I am helping companies hire great talent so they can accomplish great things!
What’s one thing you want potential ambassadors/female student-athletes who are considering joining to know?
One thing I want potential ambassadors and/or female student-athletes who are considering joining to know is that the GSW organization is not only making a difference in the lives of others every day, but it will make a difference in your own life more than you anticipate. You will find your own voice and passion not only for the sport of soccer, but for helping others. The trip puts life into perspective and takes you out of your normal day to day bubble that we all get caught up in. I’ve watched it first-hand change my life and ambassadors that join for the better the past 3 years and all it takes is saying yes to being part of the GSW community!