Jay DeMerit has one of the most unique stories to success the sport of soccer has ever seen. After going undrafted in MLS, Jay backpacked to Europe, slept on attic floors, and climbed the English soccer pyramid from the 12th tier to become the Captain of Watford FC in the English Premier League. He also represented the US Mens National Team, playing every minute of his teams games throughout the World Cup of 2010 in South Africa. In 2011, he became the first ever signing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS. He finished his career in 2014, after captaining the Vancouver Whitecaps for four seasons.
Off the field, Jay has taken the stage at Tedx Vancouver, spoken at a wide variety of national conferences, and has even been the keynote speaker on “Grit” at the US Soccer Federation’s annual symposium. His story was the subject of “Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story” a documentary released in 2011, after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
In 2015, Jay started the Rise + Shine Foundation and a teenage leadership program called Captains Camps. It combines professional mentors in all subjects with mindset & nutrition training. Last year, they partnered with EA games to create the Rise + Shine app, which promotes interactive digital learning in a gameified way.