Supporters of girls’ youth sports in Kingman are likely familiar with Jerome Heitzman. He has been coaching youth sports for more than 20 years, starting when his daughter was in the fourth grade. When she grew too old to play for his teams, he kept coaching as a way to give back to his community.

“Growing up, I always had a coach that didn’t have a kid on the team, and I always wondered why they spent all this time working with us,” said Jerome, a UniSource gas supervisor. “I realize now that they did it because they loved seeing us get better, and it made us good human beings. That rubbed off on me.”

In 2023, Jerome logged 636 hours of volunteer service in the community. He has been coaching little league and girls’ softball teams for years. Some of the girls he has coached have known him since they were six years old up until high school. He is the President of the AFA Girls Youth Softball Program in Kingman as well as the Turquoise Kings and Queen Baseball and Softball teams, which include about 170 players in all.

As a coach, Jerome’s impact extends far beyond the field. “One of my favorite phrases is, ‘A good coach can change a game, but a great coach can change a life,’” he said. “I could be sitting at home doing nothing, or I can be out there impacting someone’s life. I tell my kids that not everyone comes from a good household, but with a good attitude, you can succeed. Coaching is more than making good athletes.”

In addition to coaching, Jerome dedicates his time to other local charities in Kingman. He partners with the Elks Lodge to run food drives for the local food bank, works with Kingman Police Department to hand out candy for Halloween, and collects turkeys and hams for families during the holidays.

He credits his colleagues at UniSource Gas for their continued support of his volunteer activities and for the causes they choose to support in making their community stronger. “There’s a lot of buy-in from employees. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we’re at.”

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