South Bronx United to me has been more than just a soccer club. Unlike many other soccer clubs throughout New York City, SBU has helped me improve my academic performances all throughout high school, especially when it came to English and maths, until graduating from Bronx International High School in 2015. As an ESL student, the learning process was not always easy. But, knowing that I had an organization to rely on for extra support, academics became the last that I had to worry about.
Throughout my senior year of high school, my parent’s biggest concerns about me attending college was the cost of attendance, as they could not afford it. With little college options to work with while at Bronx International High School, SBU’s Director of College Placement and Alumni, Tom DeMaio introduced me to Preparatory schools as a way for me to gain more exposure college wise, challenge myself academically, and to potentially receive scholarship offers from institutions of my choice. With the help of SBU and coach Andrej Bjegovic, I successfully convinced my parents who were first against this proposal because to them, “I was going to waste a school year.” In August of 2015, I finally attended The Loomis Chaffee School, where I did a post-graduate year and graduated once again in spring of 2016.
SBU’s magic does not stop here though. Once at Loomis, the next step was then to get into college, not having to worry about tuition. With the collaboration of my college advisor Mrs. Amy Thompson, and the head soccer coach at Loomis Chaffee, Charles Bour, SBU made sure that I had my college applications submitted on time, and all my college visits scheduled. SBU always made sure that I was prepared for my interviews, and that I carried myself appropriately. Little did I know of the conversations, phone calls, and emails that took place behind closed doors. In spring of 2016, I came to find out that I was accepted on a full scholarship to Bates college in Lewiston, Maine, where I am currently playing soccer and running track & field.
I really am thankful for all that this organization has done for me because without it, I wouldn’t have been where I am today. Without it, my academic options would’ve been limited due to the lack of that extra push. Without it, I would’ve probably not been playing competitive college soccer today. Without it, I wouldn’t have met such incredible coaches and teammates that I have the pleasure to call my brothers and peers today.
For my parents, there was no other great news than hearing that their son was finally going to college on a full ride, all thanks to SBU. As an alumni, it is now up to me to be a good role model for the rising youths in the organization. My experience and relationship with SBU is one that, no matter where I find myself, will never be forgotten. Now that I go through the next phase of my life, SBU is, and always will be home for many of us kids from the South Bronx.
Beaufils joined South Bronx United and the SBU Academy in 2013. He is currently a Freshman at Bates College in Maine.