The U.S. Soccer Foundation announced recently that it has received an award of $1.9 million in funding over two years from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, an office within the U.S. Department of Justice. A portion of the funding will be used to support the Foundation's Soccer for Success program in Chicago in partnership with Illinois Youth Soccer. The Foundation was one of three organizations selected to receive funding under the "Group Mentoring" category in fiscal year 2013.
Soccer for Success, the Foundation's and Illinois Youth Soccer's free afterschool program, uses soccer as a tool for youth development and matches participants with trained coaches in a 15:1 child-to-coach ratio. Coaches serve as mentors and stress the importance of excelling in school and living a healthy lifestyle, while promoting the values of teamwork, leadership, discipline and respect. The program is proven to deliver positive social outcomes for children in underserved communities and is designed to deter youth from engaging or re-engaging in delinquent behavior.
Through a network of community-based partners and organizations, Soccer for Success will serve approximately 18,000 children in 25 cities across the country during the 2013-2014 program year. Beginning in spring 2014, funding from OJJDP will support existing program sites throughout Chicago, serving additional children and increasing the child-to-coach ratio to 7:1.
"This is a great opportunity to provide our players with more one-on-one mentorship from our coaches in our at risk communities," Ale Jurado, Illinois Youth Soccer's Soccer For Success Program Director said. "Mentors are needed in the communities that we serve and the players will greatly benefit from more interaction with them."
"We are very grateful to US Soccer Foundation for this opportunity to implement the Soccer for Success program in Chicago," said Mary Jane Bender, Illinois Youth Soccer Executive Director. "Through the Foundation's leadership and guidance, we have been able to positively impact at-risk children living in underserved communities by providing an alternative to delinquent behavior."
To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Soccer for Success, please visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org
About the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $60 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation's affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org to learn more.