South Bronx United has been awarded a 2019 community program grant from the FA Premier League’s International Development Fund, a philanthropic fund developed in partnership with streetfootballworld. The grant, in the amount of ￡20,000, will be used to support South Bronx United’s college and career success initiatives for SBU Academy alumni.
“We are thrilled to have the support of the Premier League to help us combat in our Bronx community a nationwide problem facing low-income young men and women,” said Andrew So, South Bronx United’s Executive Director. “Among those who start college, very few ever earn a degree. Among all young adults, fewer are gaining access to careers that can lift them out of poverty. Like with so many other challenges, soccer can, in fact, play a role in addressing these inequities, not only globally but especially here in the South Bronx. We are excited that the Premier League also recognizes this.”
Over the next year, South Bronx United will be investing more in providing the programs, services, and resources to assist its alumni in achieving college and career success. This includes hiring an alumni coordinator, increasing college counseling sessions to provide supports that prevent students from dropping out, expanding post-secondary and vocational training as options for non-college bound students, holding alumni workshops, and expanding on the SBU Coaching Corps Fellowship that offers a select group of alumni a stipend to gain practical experience and training as soccer coaches, referees, and mentors. In the past years, the organization has also started its first competitive alumni soccer team and held an Alumni Career Networking event that connected 73 young people with professionals in various career fields.
Established in 2017 in partnership with streetfootballworld, the FA Premier League International Development Fund supports collaborative projects between community organizations of English Premier League Clubs and community-based organizations that make up the streetfootballworld network members. The Fund also has selected individual projects led by network members in the areas of sports participation, education, and life skills development. Since its founding in 2009, South Bronx United has demonstrated extensive experience in using soccer to expand opportunities and enrich the lives of young people. South Bronx United has been a streetfootballworld network member since 2016.