The Charlotte News

The Nile Bright Stars enjoy final days of our warmest season. Photo by Chol Dhoor.

The Nile Bright Stars Academy, a mentoring and soccer program for Chittenden County’s Sudanese refugees, headed out on a field trip to the shores of Lake Champlain in Colchester last weekend, courtesy of Julie and Rich Elmore. Thirteen adults and 27 children attended the event.

Chol Dhoor, of Charlotte, began the Nile Bright Stars Academy last year through the Sudanese Foundation of Vermont, where he is director. He works with student mentors from St. Michael’s College and volunteer soccer coaches to keep kids active and healthy as well as to learn leadership skills from each other.

The event on Lake Champlain at the Elmore home was an exclusive invitation of the Nile Bright Stars Academy team to spend an afternoon of boating, tubing and canoeing.

Right now the Charlotte-based Sudanese Foundation of Vermont is looking for a volunteer grant specialist to help with grant research and writing for the organization and for volunteer coaches (soccer and basketball) to help with summer and fall practices. So far they have four volunteer coaches: Peter Keny, Yuol Herjok, Ismael Mohamed and Lueth Ajok.

The academy is also looking for sponsors. “We hit a home run this summer with the Community Health Centers of Burlington, which generously sponsored our soccer program,” Dhoor said. “We are also grateful to Vermont Lake Monsters for their partnership this summer. Our plan is to partner with as many organizations in Vermont as possible to support our team moving forward.”

“Julie and Rich Elmore have unshakable love for our community and its members,” Dhoor said. “Julie recently accepted to serve as the president of the Sudanese Foundation of Vermont and will help in recruiting more board members for the organization. She came to this role from unmatched years of service for the Sudan Development Foundation (SUDEF), a Burlington-based organization that helped in building the Medical Clinic, Maternal, Child Health and Training Unit at Kalthok village in Awerial County in South Sudan. She is currently the chief communications and administrator for SUDEF. In short, Julie is full of energy for the good, and I’m indebted and grateful for their love and friendship on behalf of the Sudanese Foundation of Vermont and community.”

For more information, send an email.