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Emilia McCormick is the Director of Operations at United Sports Academy in Dunmore.
If I could describe my life in one word, it would be perseverance. From age 2, I’ve been battling obstacles one after another and climbing to new heights.
My family did not have a traditional start to life here in the U.S. We moved to New York City in 1998 from Bulgaria when I was 8 years old. I don’t remember much from my first year in the U.S. When we moved to the Big Apple, not speaking the language didn’t help, but it opened my eyes to a whole new world. Believe me, America is the land of opportunity if you put in the work!
When my family purchased the United Sports Academy in 2006, I was 16 years old. My mom has been a coach her whole life, but running a gym was a new venture for her. I was starting my senior year in high school and had zero experience in administrative roles. When I asked my mom how I could help, she said, “You’re in charge of the office – just figure it out!” And so the journey of my career began. From that point on, I’ve been striving to improve and grow the program.
A few months later, as a new driver at 16, I ended up in a horrible car accident, which required a life flight and an ICU stay for nearly a month.
My road to recovery was slow. I had to relearn how to walk, move and do simple tasks Upon graduating from Scranton High School, I continued my education at the Pennsylvania State University and loved every minute. I took on many leadership roles at school and continued to work for United Sports Academy. By that time, we found a new office manager who had more such as tying my shoes and brushing my hair. I was on bed rest for months and a teacher came to our house to help with my studies. Even though this was an extremely challenging time, I saw the silver lining. Many positive things came from this dark moment. I started believing that everything happens for a reason and things always work out in the end. This is probably why I have continued to face challenges head on and even though it’s difficult at times, my faith that good will come keeps me pushing for greatness.
Upon graduating from Scranton High School, I continued my education at the Pennsylvania State University and loved every minute. I took on many leadership roles at school and continued to work for United Sports Academy. By that time, we found a new office manager who had more experience so I could focus on school.
My love for traveling and curiosity led me to study abroad in France and upon graduating from PSU, I continued traveling and volunteering. I volunteered at an orphanage in Guatemala, followed by a month in South Africa with my mother, where we worked in a daycare and a school. It was then that my passion for helping young aspiring athletes began to form. My mother and I formed a non-profit called Athletes Caring Together to help low-income families get involved in sports.
“Fifteen years later, I am the Director of Operations at United Sports Academy. ”
I manage an amazing staff with national, international and Olympic experience! Our program has grown into two facilities and three programs, dozens of collegiate scholarships, hundreds of state titles and thousands of lives touched throughout the years. I am filled with pride and love when I think about where we came from and where we are today. The rock-solid staff that stood with us through every difficulty, the enormous support they provided and the loyalty of families in our program is unparalleled. Though 2020 was challenging, we were nominated as finalists for the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce “Small Business of the Year” award.
In 2019, I took on a new journey, in addition to United Sports Academy. I married the love of my life, Kevin McCormick and together, we purchased the Mayfield Sports Complex. Our vision is to turn it into a safe, beautiful complex offering indoor and outdoor activities for all ages and finding similarly driven entrepreneurs interested in renting space for other activities!