Today, Soccer Without Borders has hosted an organization-wide Alumni Welcome Day to celebrate our incredible graduating class of 2020! It is with great pride and gratitude that SWB welcomes over 120 graduating seniors from around the world into our alumni network, each of whom having demonstrated remarkable dedication and commitment to reach this milestone.
The challenges of Covid-19 have made for a stressful end to the school year, as participants under stay-at-home orders. Together, we took the opportunity of virtual connectivity to transform an otherwise tough situation into a unique occasion for celebration.
With participants tuning in from across the USA, Nicaragua, Uganda, and countries of resettlement in Europe, we heard an inspiring message from our guest speaker - NCAA National Champion and US Women’s National Team Defender - Naomi Girma. Naomi shared her powerful life story and described the importance of being willing to ask for support as young people step into their next chapters. “Ask me, ask the SWB staff, ask the alumni, ask your professors, and I promise that you will be surprised at how receptive people are and how many people truly want you to succeed.”
Despite our geographic separation, today’s celebration was full of music, dancing, and laughs. While honoring our recent and past alumni, we also took the opportunity to discuss and share many of their stories:
“The best memories that I have with Soccer Without Borders were not to only play soccer, but that they were just there to help us - to support us with our academic achievement as well.”
-Fatuma, SWB Oakland Alumna
“I don’t know what type of person I would be if SWB weren’t a part of my life, Soccer Without Borders hasn’t changed my life - Soccer Without Borders formed my life.”
-Natalia, SWB Nicaragua Graduate & Coach
As our programs mature, our alumni community is growing. In 2019, SWB formed an Alumni Council, whose work throughout the year led to this celebratory occasion. To all of our 2020 graduates and SWB alumni of past years: we are so glad that you are here!
In the words of Naomi: “Never undermine your experiences. They make you extraordinary and special. Some other kids might seem intimidating because of all the things they have done academically or the experiences they’ve had, but at the end of the day, you have done amazing things that myself and others cannot imagine going through. This made you stronger and this has prepared you to take on the world!”
Congratulations class of 2020!
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