Emma Cashman, 12, is another of the 11 GoalKeepers. The El Cajon girl, who plays for the Oranje Voetbal Club, said the trip allowed her to bond with the other girls through a series of goal-setting and achieving workshops.
The future interior designer who loves to watch “Fixer Upper” and “Property Brothers” said they also got to train at the Manchester United training facility with the team.
She said her favorite highlight was being able to walk on the field with them during the pre-match festivities, with each player wearing a jersey with the name of one of the GoalKeepers emblazoned on the back.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a midfielder for Manchester United, donned Emma’s name.
“It’s not every day that one, you get to meet Manchester players, and, two, they know your name,” Emma said. “It was really happy and (I was) really surprised.”
Over the next eight months, Emma said she is excited to work with her mentor, Ven Lai, who is a creative designer at Chevrolet.
“I want to learn more tips about interior design, and she used to be a fashion designer and worked for Gap and a bunch of other really big businesses, so she is definitely experienced in the whole thing,” Emma said.
Both Emma and Arianna’s mothers said that they see the experience as giving them a “leg up” over their peers toward achieving their goals.
“It is kind of exciting to get to try all of it out to make sure this is what she wants to do when she grows up,” Theresa Houshmandi said. “They are definitely getting a leg up on everyone else, which is cool.”
And even if they don’t go into their current fields of interest, both parents said they are hopeful the skills they learn will translate to other fields later in life.
“It teaches them life skills and to think outside the box,” Emma’s mother Cheryl Cashman said. “I definitely would like them to be flexible, and the principals to be taught within this particular career industry can be overlapping to other industries.”
Here’s the interview from a couple of weeks ago: