The U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The Foundation is a leader in sports-based youth development and is using soccer as a vehicle for social change among youth in urban areas. We provide nationally recognized programs that are proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes. Our innovative, accessible and affordable initiatives offer safe, urban environments in which both boys and girls thrive.
Since our inception, we have awarded over $57 million in financial support to soccer organizations and field-building initiatives nationwide. Through our Passback program, we have collected and redistributed close to 900,000 pieces of soccer equipment for children in need worldwide. In addition, we are currently providing children in 20 cities across the country with physical activity, nutrition education and mentorship through our Soccer for Success program.
We believe in the power of the game to make a difference. Every child should have a chance to play in a safe environment and live a healthy and active life.
Soccer For Success
The U.S. Soccer Foundation developed the Soccer for Success Program to use soccer as a means for positive social change. The Foundation partners with community-based organizations to provide children facing social and economic barriers with easy and affordable access to quality soccer programs that support their physical and personal development.
Widener University and its partners were selected by the U.S. Soccer Foundation to receive a Social Innovation Fund Sub-Grant Award to operate the Soccer for Success Program beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year. Over the four years of operation, the program has impacted the lives of over 1300 youth throughout the Chester Upland School District. Eighty percent of participants who began the program overweight or obese improved or maintained their Body Mass Index throughout their time participating in Soccer for Success.
FOUR PILLARS OF THE SOCCER FOR SUCCESS PROGRAM
Physical Activity – Meeting for 90 minutes at least three days a week, children exercise in a cooperative and supportive environment, where they are given the attention and guidance they need to develop into healthy and successful young adults.
Nutrition – Staff deliver relevant educational activities focusing on the basics of nutrition, the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices, and the benefits of maintaining healthy eating habits.
Mentorship – Coaches/mentors lead activities that emphasize the importance of leadership, teamwork, respect, dedication and hard work. Participants are encouraged to do their best in school and to avoid negative influences such as drugs, alcohol, crime, and violence.
Family Engagement – Each year we host different family engagement events. During the Sweet Potato Dinner, the Fall Jamboree and our Spring Play Day we are able to provide healthy meals and snacks, gift certificates to local vendors along with free health and nutrition education to participants and family members.