What We Do
Our programs operate year-round and are designed to 'get them to the field'. We work to eliminate obstacles that too often keep underserved youth from participating in the game they love: all of our programs are free of charge, transportation is provided, and all of the necessary equipment is supplied.
Our evidence-based programming and trauma-informed coaching strategies are designed to create a safe space where our participants can heal, where they can find belonging, and where they have the opportunity to grow to reach their greatest potential.
TEAM is a "Spanglish" acronym that stands for "trabajando en equipo aprendemos más" or "working as a team we learn more." Our TEAM programs are our most comprehensive programs. Combining soccer, education, and community-building more than 36 weeks/year, each is uniquely tailored to meet the unique needs of the specific community and fill in gaps where there aren't other service providers. Whether school-based, community-based, during school, after-school, on weekends, or some combination of these, every program shares a common culture and purpose of holistic youth development.
Summer can be an isolating and challenging time, especially for newcomer youth who may experience language loss when away from school. Our summer programs combine soccer with English language instruction and academic support to keep youth engaged in learning and connected to a community of teammates throughout this time off.
Camps & Clinics
Our soccer camps and clinics are a condensed version of a typical SWB season or practice session, but often with extra surprises! Each camp has a specific purpose, whether it be outreach to new communities, introducing soccer for the first time, supporting different age groups beyond our TEAM programs, or something else, but all are designed to support the whole person through a range of activities that starts with soccer, but can also include art, dance, music, cultural celebrations, yoga, and more.
Leagues & Tournaments
Our leagues and tournaments are not about lifting trophies. Rather, they are designed to strengthen community cohesion, teach social-emotional skills, and raise awareness and knowledge about specific social issues. Creating our own leagues emerged as a priority as many of our participants and teams either couldn't access existing leagues due to transportation barriers and regulations for foreign-born players or, in the case of our girls' teams in Nicaragua and Uganda, because no leagues for girls existed.
Design with Evidence
Our program design is built upon a foundation of research, is mapped out by a logic model and theory of change which draw a through-line from input to impact, and is monitored by program rubrics and coaching frameworks.
This process and feedback loop allows us to identify where and when the program design model is being fully implemented, where more resources and training are needed, and how program quality and safety can be sustained during periods of growth.
Direct-service programs like ours operate with a wide range of resources, within a vast number of unique contexts, and with a diversity of skilled and experienced leaders. Even still, all program participants will inevitably be faced with a number of distinct challenges.
We meet our participants where they are, recognizing the fact that there are many variables that are beyond our control. What we can control, though, is the quality of the environment we create, the resources we provide, the preparedness of our staff, and the way we engage with the communities to whom we serve.
Reduce & Eliminate Barriers
The populations we serve continually face complex barriers that stand in the way of opportunity. These are barriers that keep young people off of teams, out of leagues, and unable to access programs that can help them reach their full potential. Addressing one barrier alone is not enough. These barriers stack up, one-by-one, and can often feel insurmountable.
SWB programs are designed to reduce and eliminate numerous barriers in order to "get them to the field." All of our programs are free, all necessary equipment is provided, transportation is provided as often as possible, and translation is commonplace.
Understanding barriers can often feel like peeling back an onion. With each layer that is addressed, you find there is another challenge waiting underneath. Our program staff work tirelessly to understand each individual participant's unique circumstance, working to build trust with families in order to creatively work together to address barriers to participation.