Through the generosity of the Gill family and PEI Kids, New Jersey Youth Soccer is pleased to announce the Evelyn Gill Memorial Scholarship. A Past President of NJ Youth Soccer, Evelyn Gill served three terms as NJYS President and was inducted into the NJYS Hall of Fame earlier this year.
“To us, there is no more incredible honor one can receive than to be recognized for the good deeds you did in life after you have passed,” said Evelyn’s children, Jim and Scott. “Mom was a tireless volunteer for the soccer community, a visionary leader at PEI Kids and a strong believer in our youth. It is the greatest honor mom’s name will continue to be connected to helping NJ Youth Soccer players develop a love for the beautiful game.”
Evelyn Gill was selected as Secretary of the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors in 1996. She held that position until she was elected as Vice President of the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors, a position she held for 14 years. She was also on the US Soccer Board of Directors as well as its Disabled Athletes Committee and Credentials Committees. Further, she spent time serving on the US Soccer Governance Taskforce. Evelyn was later inducted into the US Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015.
“Evelyn gave so much of her time to youth soccer and had such an impact on so many that it is quite difficult to quantify the impact she has had,” said Jess Yeager, NJYS President. “Her legacy lives on with her past inductions into the Halls of Fame for US Youth Soccer and New Jersey Youth Soccer. The Evelyn Gill Leadership Award was created by US Youth Soccer to honor those who show the same passion she had for youth soccer. We are grateful to have had her lead us, and it is in her honor that we dedicate a scholarship in her name for the most vulnerable children in New Jersey. Her spirit continues to move us in a direction to do more for those who need us most.”
In addition to her soccer accomplishments, Evelyn was also a leader in her community. She founded PEI Kids in 1985, which is a nonprofit community-based organization that serves the most vulnerable children in the Greater Mercer County community. With a mission dedicated to promoting and maintaining a safe environment for all children, PEI Kids provides counseling for child victims of sexual abuse at no cost to the family and provides supportive services for children in foster care. PEI Kids also mentors and supports teens impacted by crime and violence. Further, the organization presents educational workshops in school classrooms that teach children how to stay safe from bullying, stranger abduction, physical/sexual assault and online predation.
“Evelyn was a visionary, and her incredible legacy continues to impact the lives of Mercer County children every day at PEI Kids,” said Roslyn Dashiell, Executive Director of PEI Kids. “We are honored to be a part of this tribute which so uniquely and appropriately honors Evelyn’s legacy, passion and life’s work.”
The Evelyn Gill Memorial Scholarship will fund an annual scholarship for two children who have received services in PEI Kids programs. Each scholarship will provide up to $1,000 for participation in an NJYS member club, including the cost of fees and equipment. Applicants of this scholarship will honor Evelyn’s legacy by submitting essays on how soccer has impacted their lives and what the sport means to them. Lastly, the essay should detail their commitment to community initiatives, which promotes key values that were important to Evelyn.
“The very first time I ever met Evelyn was the night of her being elected the NJYS President. I had no idea what to expect from my new supervisor,” said Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director. “Reflecting back, I can sincerely state that the experience far exceeded anything I could have dreamed. Her knowledge, insight, determination and compassion are without compare.”
Applications for the Evelyn Gill Memorial Scholarship are being managed by PEI Kids. Winners will receive an award and also have the opportunity to be recognized via a press release.