people and community soccer academy nets new opportunities for youth
2 min read | october 05, 2022
Youth participate in soccer drills as well as STEM-related education.
A Chevron community outreach program in California is giving local kids the chance to hone their soccer skills and get a kick out of learning. The Chevron Soccer Academy (CSA) was established in 2018 to create accessible soccer opportunities for underserved communities while promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education through the science of soccer.
a goal to inspire
Jenny Macintosh, senior partnership marketing specialist at Chevron, has led the soccer academy since its inception. She works closely with its Major League Soccer (MLS) partners and Alianza de Futbol—a national organization that supports and develops amateur Hispanic soccer in the U.S.—to put on the program.
“Soccer has been part of my life since I was very young and had such a positive impact on my trajectory,” Macintosh said. “Being able to provide these types of opportunities to our communities and support their love of the game in such a meaningful way is inspiring.”
The free clinic is open to kids ages 9–15 and offers soccer training and a chance for the participants to check out the Chevron STEM Zone. Instructors, including MLS professionals, teach soccer drills incorporating finishing, ball skills, agility and fitness. Participants also can interact with current and former soccer legends through drills, Q&A and an autograph session.
“As a direct result of the clinic and tryouts, a Salinas youth made it to the Alianza National Showcase, and ultimately tried out for the San Jose Earthquakes,” Macintosh said. “He is also being recruited by top-tier universities. Without the CSA, it might have been harder to find an opportunity to showcase his skills at this level and get exposure to professional soccer teams.”
a kick out of learning
Chevron has partnered with Alianza de Futbol, the Los Angeles Football Club and the San Jose Earthquakes to host the Chevron Soccer Academy.
Daina Lecuona, director of operations at For Soccer Ventures, the owning company of Alianza de Futbol, said the CSA facilitates a connection to the sport and enables kids to learn through participation.“Learning through doing is the strongest form of education,” Lecuona said. “The participants were able to take basic principles of science and math and reinforce the concepts through soccer. The next time they are in the classroom, you better believe they will be thinking of those real-life examples.”
The Chevron STEM Zone features three interactive soccer-themed stages designed to create excitement and encourage engagement with science, technology, engineering and math through real-word applications. Kids learn how STEM principles apply in everyday life through kicking skills, races and trick shots.
“Long term, we hope to grow the program in more locations where we operate,” Macintosh said.
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