“The greatest impact we can have on a young woman is to inspire her while simultaneously arming her with the tools she needs to achieve her dreams.”
– Monica Gonzalez, Founder of Gonzo Soccer
Today is the first post in Can Soccer Save The World’s Holiday Charitable Giving Guide series that will run through the end of December, 2013.
Today, I feature Gonzo Soccer, a soccer leadership academy for girls in Chicago, Houston, Tijuana and most recently, in Colombia. GONZO was developed by former professional soccer player and Mexican National Team member, Monica Gonzalez.
Gonzo Soccer aims to have a significant and sustainable impact in the lives of young girls by focusing on three developmental areas: health, academics and personal growth.
Growing the sport of women’s soccer means making it more accessible. Gonzo Soccer believes in removing barriers in order to provide equal opportunities for girls to enjoy a fun, safe environment to play, receive academic assistance, interact with positive female role models and learn valuable life skills which will further girls’ soccer and academic careers.
Why you should give? Hear from Director of Programs and Gonzo coach Margo Baker:
Gonzo Soccer in Chicago is using the game of soccer to empower young Latina girls in underserved communities in the city. The leadership program, which began in 2009, provides girls with soccer and life skills training, from top female coaches, and aims to not only improve health and fitness, but boost academic standing and foster personal development.
It’s been an incredible journey and blessing to watch these girls grow and develop over the past year, both on and off the field. From a technical standpoint the girls have improved so much, and have become comfortable, and skilled, with the ball at their feet. But more than that, you can see the new found confidence they have in themselves off the field, the new found respect they have for one another, their refocused energies on academics, and most importantly, their hope for a better future.
With 20-30 minutes of the 2 hour practices dedicated to “GirlTalk” (life skills) coaches speak with players about topics like bullying, body image, academics, and family, and give the young girls an opportunity to ask questions of their coaches, who are now new role models and friends.
I am so proud to be part of this organization. When I grew up, young girls didn’t always have strong female role models they could turn to, and count on. I’m honored that I can be one now. I am inspired by these girls every day, and because of them I am reminded that the sport of soccer can, in fact, change the world.
With a growing program in Chicago, and now worldwide, Gonzo Soccer, can use your support!
People can make donations to Gonzo Soccer through their blog. There is a ‘donate’ button on the right side: https://gonzosoccer.wordpress.