Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you or the person who came up with your proposed solution to get started and/or to see the potential for it to succeed.
As a teacher leading after school soccer groups at a local middle school, it became clear that a team atmosphere provided tremendous opportunities for youth to learn and develop. On the last day of the after school season, two students came up and asked me, "What are we going to do after school now? We would come here every day if I could!" It was evident that soccer provided the perfect platform for these young men part of a growing immigrant population that led to many youth who were passionate about soccer but disconnected from typical out of school activities. The next year South Bronx United was born out of the idea that community youth like these needed a engaging program to connect to and keep them off the streets.
Impact: What is the impact of your solution to date? Also describe the projected future impact. (If your solution is an idea you can just describe projected future impact.)
In 2012, SBU served 595 boys and girls, 74 percent of whom are black or Latino males. Every high school senior in the SBU youth development and travel soccer program graduated high school. 93 percent matriculated in college. 98 percent of students were promoted to the next grade. 90 percent of participants stayed in the program, that requires a typical commitment of 6-12 hours per week. Through stronger programming and increased services provided, SBU anticipates having an even deeper impact on every youth it serves--such that youth are better prepared for college so that they can all earn a 4 year degree. Increased resources and capacity will allow SBU to broaden the impact to a greater number of youth.
Full Impact Potential: How do you plan on spreading your solution moving forward? (Please consider spread within New York City or beyond, policy reform, how you might get others to replicate/adopt your solution or other mechanisms)
SBU's model, or components of its programs, can be adopted across the city, nation, and even the world. SBU is already in the final stages of joining StreetFootballWorld, an international network of organizations that "use soccer as a tool to empower disadvantaged young people by engaging private and public partners to create social change." This platform would give us the opportunity to share our practices with, as well as learn from, organizations across the globe. A few individuals and organizations, from NYC and beyond, have already reached out to us in hopes of learning about starting their own ventures. With increased resources, we may be able to formalize a process for mentoring others or facilitating potential replication.