by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Creating a Team

Although she and her husband grew up in Maryland, Rancho Peñasquitos has been home to Jaclyn Colton and her family for the past two-and-a-half years, where they live within walking distance to everything. A lifelong soccer player, Jaclyn makes a point of getting involved in a local youth sports program wherever they’ve lived (her husband is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps). She’s been volunteering as a soccer coach for the YMCA in PQ, ages ranging from 5 to 13. “Sports are a wonderful way for children to be active, make friends, and to learn many different life skills,” Jaclyn shared. “It is my privilege to be a part of empowering our youth as they develop their talents and interests, eventually becoming good and productive citizens.”

volunteer_colton2In the soccer season, Coach Jaclyn has two goals in mind: evaluating the needs of every child to provide an environment where they can improve themselves, and creating a team who trusts each other. “This requires finding a balance between demanding the most from them,” she explained, “while ensuring that they’re having a great time and want to return.” She has also started running a clinic during the week – the leagues run only on Saturdays – providing an important way for children to get some extra practice and play time. “Every season I get to watch a group of individuals learn to work as one,” Jaclyn smiled, “and it’s amazing.”

Jaclyn chose volunteering specifically at the YMCA because it provided a practical way for all four of her children to play multiple sports at once, around the same time and location. She loves that the YMCA not only values skill development, but good sportsmanship – evidenced when the players in the league start and end each game with a handshake. “It’s not just about soccer,” Jaclyn shared, “but as YMCA sports creed says, improving ourselves ‘in mind, body, and spirit.’” She is thrilled to be involved in making quality soccer practices affordable and accessible to all kids with a passion for the sport.

Volunteers are definitely needed. “There is some paperwork involved and some online youth and safety training,” Jaclyn said, “but it can be done relatively quickly.” While Jaclyn has many diverse interests – hiking, camping, swimming, and beachgoing – plus a love of learning everything from dancing and painting to Byzantine chanting, she is a coach at heart and would love to see more people involved and volunteering in the YMCA.


Full Name: Jaclyn Colton
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
Volunteer Affiliation: YMCA
Profession: Homemaker, homeschool teacher
Family: Married with four kids
Hobbies & Interests: Art, music, dance, hiking
Favorite Local Spots: Hilltop Community Park, Views West Park, Mi Ranchito, Wonderful Sushi, Bad Ass Coffee, Los Peñasquitos Canyon, Rancho Peñasquitos Branch Library, and the Rancho Family YMCA


Name of Group: Rancho Family YMCA
Mission: The YMCA of San Diego County is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people to realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind, and body.
Website: www.ymca.org/rancho
Phone: 858-484-8788

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