Project Volley

Access to play volleyball


Background Information

Dylan Zgodny grew up in New York City, and has been playing volleyball since she was 12 years old. She has played on her school’s Varsity Volleyball team since her freshman year. For ten years, the team has been attending the Brearley-Dalton Invitational, a tournament with many of the independent schools in New York City. In order to play the sport, a substantial amount of equipment is needed, including knee pads, court shoes, etc. Since not everyone has access to this equipment, Dylan has sought to procure the necessary sporting goods for these for young girls in need. The goal of Project Volley is to help young girls that don’t have access or cannot afford the equipment to play volleyball.

“When you think about it, one pair of knee pads can only do so much. But to these girls, a pair of knee pads is the best gift they could get.  I am provided with a new set of knee pads almost every season for volleyball. To me, a pair of knee pads is a necessity to play, but to these girls, knee pads are a luxury.” – Dylan Zgodny

Implementation of Project

Dylan brought Project Volley to the Brearley-Dalton Invitational tournament on Saturday, September 14th, 2019. She reached out to all of the teams participating, informing them about the goal for her project and requesting lightly used equipment for donations.  Dylan then connected with TAG, an organization connected with the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars located in Harlem, New York. She hand-delivered the equipment to the school and distributed it to the young girls.

“Walking into the gym and seeing the smiles on the girl’s faces was the most rewarding part of my project. These girls weren’t expecting this equipment, and were so thankful for what I gave them.” – Dylan Zgodny

Results of Project

Dylan successfully collected over 150 pieces of equipment for TAG, having a positive impact on so many young aspiring players. With a wide range of equipment, including some completely new and unused knee pads and court shoes, Dylan went to the school to personally deliver the equipment to the girls. When she met with the principal and the head of athletics at the school, he expressed his gratitude to Dylan. He said,

“Thank you so much. You have no idea the impact you have had of these girls. They are so blessed with these materials and will remember this experience forever.”

What’s Next

Dylan will continue to work with the girls she donated the equipment to throughout the school year.  She hopes to continue this project in the Fall of 2020 during her senior year. She plans to attend an afterschool program on Fridays to help instruct these girls on how to play volleyball with the equipment she has provided. Upon graduation, she hopes to pass this project on to younger girls on her school’s varsity team, so that at the tournament there will be a continual collection of equipment for young girls in need.

“It is my hope that my project will be continued in future years so we can provide equipment for girls who are so passionate about the sport we all love.  If I had collected only one pair of knee pads, I would have been satisfied. Never did I expect the turnout I received.” – Dylan Zgodny