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David Glass – Co-founder and President

David is a former NCAA Division I women’s college basketball coach, serving as an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth University and The University of Notre Dame before becoming the a head women’s basketball coach at The University of Missouri – Kansas City and Virginia Commonwealth University. After his coaching career ended in March of 2003, David worked as a financial planner for several large insurance companies and a local community bank. In 2009, David went to work for Upward Sports, as the Northeast Regional Representative, consulting with Upward Sports church partners in 11 states throughout the Northeast.

Recognizing that there are many underserved children right here in the US, David and Sarah formed First Touch Sports, a nonprofit corporation, in December of 2011. The mission of First Touch Sports is to use sports as a tool to teach core values and important life skills to young people. As youth sports moves rapidly to an association or club model more and more children, especially those in the inner city, are excluded due to the rising cost associated with the “pay for play” model which can cost $1,000 or more per season. In addition, many schools have cut funding for school sponsored sports; so far too many children are not able to participate in youth sports, leading to a negative impact on their physical fitness as well as on their psychological and social development.

Sarah Glass

Sarah is a fourth grade teacher at Ecoff Elementary School and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.

David and Sarah have three children: Phillip, Maggie and Andrew. All three children play travel soccer with Chesterfield United FC and are active in some capacity with First Touch Sports and Tumaini Sports. The Glass’s are members of Beulah United Methodist Church and have been very active in both the Upward basketball and soccer programs the church has run over the past seven years, serving in just about every capacity. David and Sarah both hold the United States Soccer Federation “F” and “E” coaching licenses and have coached numerous recreational soccer teams.

Dr. Steven Danish

Steven J. Danish is the Director of theLifeSkillsCenter, Professor of Psychology and Social and Behavioral Health atVirginiaCommonwealthUniversity.  He is also the President of Life Skills Associates, LLC.  Dr. Danish previously served as Chair of the Department of Psychology and has held academic positions atPennStateUniversityand Southern Illinois University following the receipt of his doctorate in Counseling Psychology fromMichiganStateUniversity.  He is a licensed psychologist and a Diplomate in Counseling Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology as well as a registered sport psychologist of the Sports Medicine Division of the United States Olympic Committee.

He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Psychological Society, and the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and is past President of the Society of Community Research and Action (a Division of APA) and served on the Executive Committee of AASP.  In 2007, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for Prevention by the Society for Counseling Psychology. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from theCollegeofEducationatMichiganStateUniversity, where he received his doctorate. He has published widely in counseling and community psychology, health, substance abuse prevention, sport psychology, and veterans’ issues.  He has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health), the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. Diving, and the Athletic Footwear Association.

In addition to his work as a psychologist, Dr. Danish has coached basketball at both the college and high school level and has consulted widely with professional and amateur athletes, allied health professionals, corporate managers, police, veterans, and lottery winners.  He is a past member of the Virginia Governor’s Commission on Sports and Physical Fitness, served on the Board of Directors for the Commonwealth Games inVirginiaand was chair of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation Board.

He is the developer of the Going for the Goal (GOAL) and SUPER (Sports United to Promote Education and Recreation) Programs for youth, the F.R.E.E. 4 Vets and H.E.L.P. 4 Families Programs for returning veterans and their families and a Guide for Lottery Winners.  GOAL is a winner of the Lela Rowland Prevention Award from the National Mental Health Association, has been honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of its Freedom from Fear Campaign, and received an honorable mention by the Points of Light Foundation.  He served as the coordinator for the curriculum development team of the original life skills component for The First Tee, a national youth golf program, and the NFL/NFF’sCoachAcademy.  He was also involved in the development and implementation of the Career Assistance Program for Athletes (CAPA) for the United States Olympic Committee, and the Youth Education through Sports (YES) Program for the NCAA.