ILLINOIS YOUTH SOCCER ASSOCN INC wrote -
“There are nearly 300 of us kids who want to play soccer this summer. We are mostly Hispanic and live in Chicago. Nearly half of us are girls. We have been playing in the Illinois Youth Soccer's Soccer for Success Program during the school year and want it to continue so that we can stay active and off the streets during the summer. We love this program and our coaches. Illinois Youth Soccer has raised $6000 but we need $5000 more. PLEASE HELP!"
“I love this program. I don’t want it to end because it makes me active every day. Please don’t take it away.” Joshua Tapia, 6thgrade
"Before this program, I was just a little kid who ran fast. The coaches taught me how to be smart on the soccer field and off it. They gave me the opportunity to become a coach to help the small children in the program. This program shows the importance of school and stresses that education is important. This program has given me the opportunity to receive a scholarship and shows me that they care about me and my future." Jeffrey Hernandez, 11thgrade
"The program has taught my daughter (Mia) soccer skills but also has been a great help in other areas such as school and personal. She has learned self control and to work as a team. Soccer is a motivation that helps her get through the school week and do well so she can enjoy of a weekend full of soccer. It has shown both players and parents healthy ways of eating. I am very thankful for this program and the great opportunity it brings to low income families who are often deprived from organized sports due to the lack of funds and trainers willing to coach in minority neighborhoods.” Mrs. Ortega, mother of a Mia Ortega, kindergarden
“You have a good program cause I realized that I had to stop eating candy and bad food. So I run every day, 2 miles around my house, and lost weight. I think you have a good program. Your program does help with the weight.” Itzel Sanchez, 5thgrade
“I like the program because it helps us to lose weight and also get away from the house where I watch TV and be in the computer or facebook. I like the program because it teaches us a lot of new tricks for soccer. It also teaches us how to work together as a team and not be a ball hog. The coaches are so helpful. I wish to be there to enjoy the wonderful times that I had with the program. Erica Hernandez, 8thgrade
“This program is really helping me in a lot of things, like how to be respectful to others and my team. I used to get mad at my mom and made her look stupid. I used to suck at soccer. I couldn’t even kick a ball. I was the last one to get picked to play. When I started to play with the program, I have gotten better at soccer. The most important thing that I learned is to have fun and never give up. If you get mad, everybody gets mad. If you give up, you will never learn to do something. Now you know how the program has helped me. Thank you!” Jailene Ortiz, 7thgrade
We need to raise $5,000 so that we can run a Soccer for Success Program for underserved children in Chicago this summer. We conduct this program during the school year but need funding to continue this program during the summer when the kids are most vulnerable.
This program will impact over 500 children and families living in Chicago's underserved urban communities. 95% are Hispanic or African American and live in disadvantaged communities. 49% are overweight and 25% are considered obese.
This program is a fun, skills and sports-based, development program that empowers children to lead a healthy lifestyle, value education and increase their social and life skills.
In the Program, children learn skills that make the game more enjoyable, participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous excercise, and learn unstructured activities to do at home. Children learn the nutritional value of of food and increase consumption of healthy items. Children gain self-esteem by working with caring mentors and coaches. Families are engaged in team-building activities and small sided games.
Children will attend weekly training sessions taught by skilled US Soccer certified program coaches that know how to conduct fun, age-specific activities and that understand, respect and reside in the urban communities. The program involves parents and community volunteers.
Illinois Youth Soccer is an Illinois non-profit 501c3 tax exempt corporation established in 1975 and the official State Association and charter member of the US Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer authorized to administer and conduct coaching courses, referee courses and the Olympic Development Program in Illinois.
We are an educational organization that empowers children to lead a healthy lifestyle, value education and learn social and life skills. We also provide job training by offering nationally recognized coaching and referee courses. Our Olympic Development Program provides children with the opportunity to reach their potential.
Since 1994, Illinois Youth Soccer has partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, YMCAs, community centers and churches to provide free soccer programs to nearly 1000 children annually that live in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Chicago.
Children participating in our Soccer for Success Program have had the opportunity to:
- Earn a scholarship to Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy
- Train with coaches from the Chicago Fire & Manchester United
- Attend Chicago Fire games
- Play in tournaments (Chicago Beach Soccer & Copa Chicago)
- Attend the Urban Soccer Collaborative Youth Leadership Institute
- Receive funds from Sepp Herberger Committee for a college scholarship
- Meet professional soccer players including Jonathan Spector (West Ham of EPL and US National Team), Dasan Robinson (Chicago Fire) and Jessica McDonald (Chicago Red Stars)
- Participate in the Olympic Development Program
- Participate in competitive soccer programs
- Learn a job skill as a nationally certified coach and/or referee
- Participate in the Cinco de Mayo Parade
For the past 17 years, Illinois Youth Soccer has provided fun, age-specific, skills and sports-based youth development programs for free to children in Chicago’s urban communities and need your help to continue to provide programs and opportunities to these children for another 17 years.