Georgia Express FC

Nicole Diaz Awarded Carrie Jo Scholarship


In a special ceremony at the crack of dawn, Nicole Diaz was awarded the inaugural Carrie Jo Scholarship. 

There is no greater loss than the loss of a child taken suddenly.  Georgia Express is fortunate enough to include the Safarriyeh family, who celebrate the life of their son Tyler every single day.  Through the Tyler's Way Foundation, the foundation promotes building character in youth and teaches the value of giving back to community of Johns Creek, through youth scholarships to athletic leagues, and working to strengthen families as they heal during their grief due to the loss of their child.

The Will To Live Foundation has worked with Georgia Express, distributing Love Ya Man bracelets to players at our tournaments.  John and Susie Trautwein spend countless hours working with the boys and girls of our area, celebrating the life of their son Will Trautwein.  Their  mission:    “We are dedicated to preventing teen suicide by improving the lives and the ‘Will To Live’ of teenagers everywhere through education about mental health and encouraging them to recognize the love and hope that exists in each other.”

Each player who practices or plays at our Shakerag Elementary fields walks past the brick memorial pillars honoring the life and tragic death of Carrie Jo Conti.  Carrie Jo was an avid soccer player at JCUMC and student at Shakerag Elementary.  A brief illness led to her passing on December 28, 2010.  Each August 28, her family solemnly arrives at the Carrie Jo memorial, celebrating her birthday and her life.  To honor Carrie Jo, Georgia Express established the Carrie Jo Scholarship.  Nicole Diaz from our U13 Girls team is the first recipient of the award.  Carrie Jo would the same age as our U13 Girls, and Nicole wrote a poignant essay to honor Carrie Jo.  "Though we never met, we share the same passions in sports.  My hopes are to inspire other kids our age 12 & 13 years old to play sports like soccer that help me feel good about myself." 

Prior to the Georgia Express U13 Girls game vs Dacula Revolution on October 25, a brief ceremony was held with Carrie Jo and Nicole's families.  The game was delayed for one minute, with both teams holding a moment of silence before kickoff.  Purple and green balloons lifted to the heavens, honoring Carrie Jo, as well as Tyler, Will, and all of those young children taken away from us too early.