Ben Gucciardi, Founder and Oakland Director ||
Ben founded Soccer Without Borders while earning a Master's degree in Global Educational Leadership from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA in 2006. An undergraduate of Lehigh as well, Ben captained the Lehigh Men's Soccer Team who regularly appeared in the NCAA Division I Top 25 rankings. After graduate school, Ben played two seasons with the San Francisco Seals of the USL. In addition to his experience on the field, Ben has worked extensively in the fields of coaching and youth development, acting as the Girls' Sports Coordinator and Coaching Coordinator at the Jamestown Community Center in the Mission District of San Francisco. He has studied conflict resolution, interactive theatre, team building, and methods of teaching mindfulness practices to youth. Ben has coached youth ages 5-18 at a variety of skill levels, and is currently the Head Coach of the boys SWB Oakland U-17 team at Oakland International High School. Ben has also worked as a consultant for leading sports based youth-development organizations in the US, Europe, Zambia and South Africa, including Coaching Corps, Women Win, Amandla EduFootball, and Beyond Sport Inc.
Katy Nagy, Girl's Program Director ||
A 2012 graduate of Villanova University, Katy originally hails from Bellmore, New York. While at Villanova she was a member and co-captain of the Varsity Women's Soccer team. She was also very involved in the university’s community service program. Most notably, she took part in two service trips to El Salvador, one year as a participant and the second year as a group coordinator. Closer to campus, she also volunteered as ESL tutor to recently-arrived immigrants in the Villanova area. Katy joined SWB in 2013 as a Team Leader in Uganda, working tirelessly to build the girls' program while elevating SWB's participation in the Streetfootballworld East Africa Network. Upon her return to the USA, Katy joined the SWB Oakland team as a Coach Across America coach and Development Associate, and continues to support SWB Uganda from Oakland.
Martin Angus, Outreach Coordinator and Head Coach ||
Martin Angus, a New Jersey native, recognized the power of soccer at 12 years old. After just 5 years of playing the game, he received scholarship to play Division III Soccer at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. While at Stevens, he spent three years as Community Service Chair of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity - Rho Chapter while majoring in Business and Technology and helping to run the college radio station. With those roles, he organized numerous events on campus benefiting local soup kitchens, charter schools, and international relief efforts. Marty joined SWB In January 2013 as a volunteer with the High School Boys program in Oakland and continues to support the organization as Outreach Coordinator and Head Coach for the U-19 Boys team.
Cristy Peterson, Academic Coordinator and Coach Across America ||
When Cristy first helped coach the SWB Oakland Refugee Community Soccer Camp in 2009, she knew that it was only the beginning of a lasting friendship. She joined the SWB Oakland staff team in 2013, serving as a Program Assistant in the year before she transferred to UC Santa Cruz to pursue a degree in Sociology. While at UC Santa Cruz, she completed an honors project that consisted of designing and implementing an SAT and college applications course for SWB Oakland youth. After graduating from college in June 2015, she has joined the SWB team full-time as Ambassador Program Coordinator and CAA Coach for SWB Oakland girls' teams. Cristy also helps coordinate academic enrichment projects across all SWB Oakland teams.
Shea Whelan, Partnership Development ||
A San Francisco native, Shea has a degree from Holy Name University in Business Marketing, Management & Sports Management. Shea has been coaching soccer for 13 years working with all age groups (ages 2–18). Shea played on the ’87 ODP Development Program, had a U.S. National Team tryout in 2004 and played three PDL years for the San Francisco Seals and one summer for the Earth Quake Reserves. Shea has his National A Coaching License and is working toward his UEFA B license. Playing soccer his entire life up through college (Div I to NAIA), Shea feels that he can relate to the players both psychologically and physically. Shea is extremely excited to join the Soccer Without Borders family helping our kids reach their dreams by connecting the Bay Area soccer community to SWB's mission.
Ye-Htet Soe, Head Coach ||
Ye-Htet, or Coach Tet as he is lovingly known by his players has been a part of SWB since 2008. Tet was resettled to Oakland from a refugee camp in Thailand when he was 9 years old. He initially participated in SWB as a youth leader at the Oakland Refugee Community Soccer Camp. The following year, he served as an assistant coach for the SWB team at Oakland International High School. Over time, Tet has taken on a larger role within the organization. Tet is a three year member of the Coach Across America program. He was selected from a highly competitive global pool of applicants to the Sony Future Goals Youth Leaders Program, which brought him to Brazil during the 2014 World Cup for training, leadership development and project planning. Tet was later asked to return to Brazil to report back on the program to the streetfootballworld leadership. Coach Tet is an outstanding role-model for SWB Oakland youth.