Our programming in Pittsburgh officially began in the spring of 2019 after years of developing our model in Africa. Through partnership with youth-serving organizations and strong relationships with community members, our programming works to create positive experiences on and off the field for youth in several neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. We provide leadership training to teenagers who serve as coaches and referees who then mentor younger children in their neighborhood. Our CHAMPS (CHange Agents Mentoring Peers through Sport) program probides summer employment opportunities, mentoring, and skills development to support success in the classroom, at home, and in the workforce.
Our programming in Pittsburgh launched in 2019 after years of developing our model in Africa. Through partnership with youth-serving organizations, we are creating positive experiences on and off the field for youth in several neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. We provide leadership training to high school youth to serve as coaches and referees who then mentor younger children in their neighborhood. Our union Leader program creates summer employment opportunities for high school students and provides an opportunity to build skills to support success in the classroom now and eventually in the workforce beyond graduation.
We partner with the Somali Bantu Community Association of Pittsburgh and Youth Places to run our programming in the Northview Heights neighborhood. Working closely with both partners, this initiative aims to connect members of the immigrant and refugee community with African Americans through the global game of soccer. Summer and Fall 2019 programming engaged more than 60 youth from different backgrounds, led by a team of 8 teenage coach mentors. 2020 programming was suspended due to COVID-19. Fall 2020 programming occured twice per week for 22 youth, boys and girls who attended consistently. We continue to play through winter months, as weather allows, to continue strengthening positive relationships and social emotional learning on and off the field.
Our long-time partnership with ARYSE allows us to incorporate our educational and skill-building sport programming into their after school club and summer academy for more than 80 refugee youth in Pittsburgh. Our soccer sessions for younger children focus on learning important social skills like teamwork and fair play. With older children, we focus these social skills as well as communication, conflict resolution, and health & well-being. We first partnered with ARYSE in 2014 to incorporate our Life Skills + Soccer programs developed in Cameroon into one of their first summer academies. Summer 2020 programming included our virtual soccer + life skills programs which happened M-Th in July and Winter 2020 will continue online via Zoom.
Open Field works with more than 50 youth, boys and girls, in this diverse neighborhood, populated with recently resettled refugees from Central and East Africa and the Middle East, as well as Pittsburgh residents and immigrants from other countries. Our program creates a safe and structured place for newly-arrived youth to play the game they love, learn new social skills, and get connected in their new neighborhood, making Pittsburgh truly feel like home. Summer 2020 programming occured 3 days per week for more than 50 youth. Fall 2020 programming occured twice per week for about 30 youth. We continue to play through winter months, as weather allows, to continue strengthening positive relationships and social emotional learning on and off the field.
Our girls program aims to promote both individual and community development, bringing together girls from diverse backgrounds to bridge cultural divides between immigrants and refugees and their American-born peers. Girls in our programs come from Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Girls who participate build healthy relationships with one another and their female coach mentors. Through the program structure and curricula, we aim to increase confidence and life skills so that participants thrive in school, at home, and in their community.
Indoor Soccer Programs
All indoor programs are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Check back for updates in 2021.