Describing Jessica Perak as “a 4WU driver” is accurate but falls far short of who she is and what she does. Perak is a friend, a confidant, a teacher and a fan of the five 4WU players she transports to practice each and every week, proof that one person can make a big difference. Four Worlds is looking for more people like Perak.
An ambitious analytics manager by day, Perak found herself abandoned in late meetings when co-workers had to leave early to pick up their kids. “It would be great to have a reason like that to leave,” she thought. Soon enough, Perak had signed up to become a 4WU volunteer driver, and had her own reason to leave the office on time. She chuckles that it didn’t take too long to realize that she had been to blame for scheduling those end-of-day meetings!
Perak had a hunch that volunteering for 4WU might be a good way to gain more balance in her life. “It’s perfect,” she says. “I love soccer and I love kids and it’s AFTER work.” Perak encourages others to follow her lead and volunteer. “I had an extravagant life full of opportunities after college. I got sick of me. I wanted to change my focus.”
When Perak arrives in the neighborhood where she picks up her posse of players, it’s a blur of activity. One player is texting that his bus is behind schedule. Others hustle out to the curb, dressed and ready to roll. After briefly jostling to greet Perak, the boys pile in, heading for the bus stop to meet that teammate who is en route. When asked if the players exhibit gratitude for the service she provides, Perak explains, “They’ve become a part of my life and they show their care and concern in small ways.”
Like the best volunteers, Perak knows that consistency is what the kids need most. And what started out as a reason to leave work on time has become much more. Her life is richer. “While driving to and from practice, we talk about a lot of stuff. I want to be someone they can count on. It takes a village!”
If you or someone you know would like to make a positive impact like Perak, please reach out right away! To find out how to volunteer, go here.