These #GoalModels are using soccer to empower girls and change the world

A few days ago I participated in the #goalmodel Twitter party featuring Brandi Chastain, In This Together Media and Andrea Montelbano (author of the Soccer Sisters ebook series I posted about yesterday).

Here’s what they and others had to say about what makes a #goalmodel:

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For more on this discussion, you can follow the ongoing #goalmodel chat still going on Twitter (type #goalmodel in the search box).

After having some time to reflect on the #goalmodel party, I wanted to share a list of some #goalmodels who are using soccer to change and save the world:

Monica Gonzalez, Alyse Lahue, Margo Baker and all the other amazing leaders and coaches at Gonzo Soccer, a soccer and leadership academy which aims to have a significant and sustainable impact in the lives of young girls by focusing on health, academics and personal growth.

All three are involved in soccer in their professional lives as well, doing their part to help continue to grow the women’s game in the United States.

Monica Gonzalez, a former professional and Mexican women’s national team player, founded Gonzo Soccer and is also a soccer analyst/reporter for ESPN.

Alyse Lahue, as general manager, and Margo Baker, head of operations, are both employees in the front office for the Chicago Red Stars, a women’s soccer team in the National Women’s Soccer League.

* The entire roster and staff of the United States Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team, who recently won their 3rd consecutive Deaflympics Gold Medal in Bulgaria. I’ve been a big supporter of this inspirational group of women for some time now. I’m not alone either as Brandi Chastain gave them a nice shout out today on Twitter:

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If you’re looking for a team member to connect with online, I recommend following Meghan Maiwald (spoiler alert: Meghan will be guest posting here on the site soon!).

* One of the biggest stories for me this summer has been seeing the accomplishments of the amazing Yuwa Football girls take India and the world by storm. From an area in India (Jharkland) notoriously famous for child marriage and human trafficking, Franz Gastler, a US national founded Yuwa in 2009 to use football to promote health, education and a shot at a better life.

Recently, the team traveled to two international tournaments — Donostic Cup in Basque and Gasteiz Cup in Vitoria Gasteiz — in Spain last month. Among 10 teams, 200 girls, Yuwa won third prize at the Gasteiz Cup. Watch the video below to learn more about this incredibly inspirational team of girls.

More about the Yuwa girls here:

* An inspiring story of achievement: http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/SportFeatures/An-inspiring-story-of-achievement-Jharkhand-18-India-s-pride/Article1-1106385.aspx

* Tough girls play ball: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/tough-girls-play-ball/1153011/

* How football can change lives: http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/1868908/report-how-football-can-change-lives-jharkhand-girls-representing-yuwa-india-show-the-way

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As I tweeted during the #GoalModel party the other day:

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I could have this list going for thousands of more words. Many I’ve already mentioned in posts here on the website (check out the Girls Empowerment category tag for more #goalmodels).

That said, I’d love to keep this discussion going so I would like to ask any readers out there to feel free to share who some of your #goalmodels are. If you’d be interested in writing something, I’d be more than happy to share here on the site. To send me your #goalmodel post, use the form on my contact page.

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