Background

We began as a small project that blossomed out the Cesar Chavez Library after a group of children were caught playing soccer inside the library. Staff took the group outside and after reaching out to the California State University Monterey Bay Service Learning Department for support, had a group of 50 committed little ones who loved soccer, each of whom lacked the financial means to play. From there CCFA was born with the vision of two CSUMB Service Learner college athletes who wanted to offer more.

Since 2011 the CCFA has successfully performed eight 10 week and five 12 week clinics. These clinics are bi-weekly soccer clinics for community youth at Cesar Chavez Park in Salinas. At these clinics boys and girls of ages 5 to 15 years old are taught the fundamentals of the game, but more importantly core values and life lessons through the game of fĂștbol. Snacks and waters are also provided to the kids at every clinic. All academy participants are given soccer gear to wear to establish a sense of team and community. The CCFA also provides serious, dedicated players within the area the opportunity to play for a high level team and receive high-quality coaching, training, and tutoring for free. In four years this program has served over 450 community children and families. CCFA currently offers five competitive teams, and has the goal to add girl teams to the academy within the next year. These teams are now affiliated with US Soccer allowing our student athlete the opportunity to compete with the highest caliber competition and be exposed to large pool of college athletic recruiters. We have competed in tournaments throughout Northern California, visited college campuses, and continue to register and expand higher education networking opportunities for our athletes and their families.

Grant funds will be used for general operating support of the academy in order to fulfill its mission and goal of using soccer as a motivational tool for academic performance and pursuing higher education. CCFA currently offers five academy traveling teams as well as 12 weeks of bi-weekly clinics, which are free soccer camps for any child in the Monterey County to come and participate and learn life skills through the game of soccer. Funding will be used to sustain our clinics program as well as fund the CCFA Academic Program. Along with equipment, registration/facility fees, uniforms, etc., funding will also be used for academic supplies and college/university visits in order to provide academic support and planning for attending college. Lastly, a portion of the funding will be used as stipends for the tutors and academic counselors who serve as role models and instructors for the children of the community, and provide the scholastic support to be successful for higher education.

The majority of the funding will go towards our Academic Program and ensuring our student- athletes are on the best possible track to a college university. Providing the academy members and their families with the academic and scholastic support needed to gain admission into college is our top priority. Other funding will go towards Field/Facility Fees and Snacks/Refreshments so we can establish set locations where our kids and families feel safe to participate, as well as provide the youth with the proper nutrition and hydration after playing soccer or studying. Another portion will go towards Registration Fees which will allow our teams to be a part of the US Club Soccer Foundation. We will also use funding for Uniforms/Clinic Shirts which will allow our youth to feel and be a part of a team and build unity within Monterey County. Funding will also be used to purchase Equipment necessary for practices and clinics, such as balls, cones, ladders, etc. Another portion will be devoted to College/University Visits and Academic Supplies; this will allow our academy members to take college visits and tours in order to give exposure and options of higher education institutions, as well as allow us to supply our tutors and students with the proper materials they need to learn and grow academically. Aside from the clinics and academy teams, CCFA is involved in helping other organizations and serving the community. The past two years in December, CCFA has held a Toy Drive where we served over 630 children and families and provided toys for the holiday season. With more funding, CCFA looks to expand in its number of participants, as well as hosting and participating in events which build confidence, community, and pride.