Oakland, CA - The five Soccer Without Borders activities are soccer, educational support, civic engagement, team building, and cultural exchange. Since graduating from Oakland International High School in 2013, SWB Oakland alumnus Yohannes has managed to excel in all five. Captain of his SWB team at OIHS, he’s continued his educational journey at Holy Names University in Oakland, California, where he is captain of the Men’s Soccer Team and has been selected as an Academic All-PacWest three times.
In the midst of his success on the soccer field and in the classroom, Yohannes has also made an impact on his local community. Originally coming to the United States from Eritrea, he has been helping to organize and coach a soccer clinic for Eritrean youth in Oakland for the past three years. At SWB Oakland’s annual Refugee Community Soccer Camp, he’s been involved as a participant, coach, and volunteer over the years—educating over 200 youth about not only soccer, but the importance of health and wellness as an athlete. Albany Berkeley Soccer Club, a longstanding SWB Oakland partner, has also benefited from Yohannes’s work ethic. As a coach for ABSC youth teams, Yohannes guided teams through indoor and outdoor seasons, spreading the SWB values to more and more youth in the East Bay Area.
As Yohannes continues to grow and positively affect the people and community around him, it’s impressive to realize that he’s done all of this in a such a short amount of time. When asked about his time with SWB and what lies ahead, Yohannes had this to say:
“It was difficult to adjust and transition into a new culture and environment with different values and language, but Soccer Without Borders, along with Oakland International High School, made that transition much easier and smoother, allowing me to to quickly adapt to the new environment. It wasn't until I joined SWB that I felt as though I was at home. SWB has given me the confidence and the platform to achieve so much and to get where I am today, and for that I am forever thankful. I am thankful, grateful and blessed to be part of the SWB family!”
Yohannes—from your entire SWB family, we’re so proud of you! You’ve given back in a big way to your local community, friends, and family, continued to set a high standard on and off the field, and achieved so much. We’re excited for more big things to come!