Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Local kids to travel to Russia for Street Child World Cup; send-off at Bell School Wednesday at 9am

This is pretty awesome: DC SCORES, the great local literacy and sports nonprofit for kids, is helping send nine young women from our area to Russia as Team USA for the Street Child World Cup. The event happens before the World Cup, and the Team USA kids are all DC SCORES participants.

The Street Child World Cup is soccer tournament, art festival and conference for children at risk of homelessness -- often they grew up in unstable situations. The event aims to focus attention on at-rish children and "change the negative perceptions and treatment of homeless youth everywhere," as they describe it.

The team will be leaving at 9am from the Bell School field, heading to New York, and then to Moscow.

I've written a lot about DC SCORES before, they offer soccer programs and literacy tutoring for local young people. They do a lot of great work, and can always use donations and volunteers.

Washington DC Teens Head to Moscow to Represent the USA
at the Street Child World Cup
A group of nine young women from Washington, DC will be the only team representing the USA on soccer’s biggest stage in Russia.  While the US Men’s National Team did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, a group of intrepid teenage athletes are donning the red, white, and blue to compete in the 2018 Street Child World Cup.  What makes their journey especially riveting is that each of these young Washington, DC women have experienced or been at risk of homelessness, and each has overcome significant obstacles to achieve this level of success.  The team departs the US on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, where it will join over 200 young people and compete against teams from around the world.

The Street Child World Cup is a soccer tournament, festival of arts, and conference for children at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness across the world.  On the pitch, over 230 girls and boys will represent 24 national teams in the tournament, while also drawing attention to the plight of homeless youth everywhere. Off the pitch, their voices will be heard, calling for the rights of millions of children at risk worldwide.  Street Child World Cup supporter David Beckham said, “I know from personal experience just what power soccer can have to inspire and change young people’s lives whatever their background or nationality. This is what the Street Child World Cup is all about.”

Becky Sauerbrunn, Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA World Cup winner as a member of the US Women’s National Team, is an ambassador of the American team, and said, “I’m honored to support our girls at the 2018 Street Child World Cup.  They will proudly represent our nation, harnessing their love of soccer to raise awareness and dialogue for US youth at risk of homelessness. Their voices matter. Congratulations to America SCORES and the National Network for Youth for partnering to give these girls the platform they truly deserve.”  Added Darla Bardine, Executive Director of the National Network for Youth, “we are honored to take this team to the Street Child World Cup to give these incredible young women a platform to elevate the urgent and unique needs of young people at risk of and experiencing homelessness here in America. No young person should be homeless and hungry.”

Notably, the entire American team is composed of participants from DC SCORES, which creates neighborhood teams that give in-need Washington DC kids the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life.  DC SCORES is the flagship affiliate of America SCORES, which operates programs in 12 cities, serving 15,000 at-risk youth annually. Bethany Rubin Henderson, America SCORES National Network President proclaimed, “I couldn’t be more proud of this incredible group of young women.  They are inspiring thousands of children throughout the America SCORES program, who look up to them and now have a reason to believe anything is possible.” The team is being coached by the Open Goal Project, a fiscally sponsored project of DC SCORES. Open Goal Project director Simon Landau added, “this team has really bonded through the training process, and will return home from Russia with amazing experiences, stories and most importantly, personal growth.”    
DC SCORES is the official community partner of Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, which, with the support of Adidas, provided gear for the American team.  “D.C. United are proud to help support the nine amazing women from Washington, D.C., representing the United States at the Street Child World Cup through our community partnership with DC SCORES,” said Tom Hunt, United’s president of business operations.  “We are committed to supporting our community and we wish the team the best of luck in Russia on the international soccer stage.”
The American team will depart from the field at Bell High School (located at 3101 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20010, with the field located behind the school, on Hiatt Place NW) on Wednesday May 9, 2018 at 9:00 AM, and bus to New York’s JFK Airport, where they’ll board an afternoon flight for Moscow, returning 10 days and countless experiences later.  Media opportunities are available in Washington, DC, up to and on departure day; in New York on departure day; and when the inspiring group of young women return to the U.S. on May 19. Later in the year, the team plans to share their experiences at the United Nations.  To learn more about this amazing event and the young women proudly representing America, please contact Michael Holstein (mholstein@dcscores.org / 504-321-5980).


About America SCORES: A national nonprofit organization, America SCORES partners with public schools in low-income communities to provide a high-quality, award-winning after-school program to elementary and middle school youth.  Integrating soccer, poetry and service-learning, this innovative approach improves at-risk students’ health, academic achievement and civic engagement by focusing on teamwork, creativity, literacy, school engagement and leadership. America SCORES’ mission is to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.  Learn more at www.americascores.org

About Open Goal Project: Through financial and logistical support, Open Goal Project is a Washington, DC non-profit that identifies and aids talented youth soccer players from low-income families to overcome costs and lack of resources to make the most of their potential on and off the field.  Since launching in 2015, Open Goal has helped register more than a dozen local players for travel soccer teams, has covered registration and costs for numerous players to attend summer camps and provided free clinics and high-level training for youth players in DC. The Open Goal Project is a fiscally sponsored project of DC SCORES, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization.  Learn more at http://www.opengoalproject.org/

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