Inherently there are leadership opportunities on the field for our Beyond Soccer participants, but we take this to the next level by giving them the chance to earn money, coach, referee and participate in year-round leadership camps and conferences.
Summer Youth Jobs Program: We hire 10-15 full and part-time Beyond Soccer high school or college students over the summer months, when so many youth are looking for jobs. Our summer Coach-Mentors help us connect more kids to important summertime sport, health, academic and leadership initiatives. A Summer Jobs grant from the Mass. Attorney General’s Office made summer 2015 our most successful summer to date in terms of youth employment. Since inception we have distributed more than $30,000 in summer wages.
Junior Coaching Initiative: Our oldest high school and college participants get access to beginner coaching courses in partnership with Mass Youth Soccer. They assist our city-wide recreational program, introducing soccer to 4-8 year olds, and also get hired as “Junior Coaches” during our two-week Soccer & Wellness Camp.
Leadership Conferences & Programs: We partner with other nonprofit organizations that provide our middle and high school students with access to leadership events outside of Lawrence. As an example, a relationship with Dream Big! (Boston, Mass) has been connecting young females to leadership conferences at Northeastern University, Boston College and UMass Boston. The girls learn from accomplished collegiate and professional female athletes about the positive role that sports “played” in their education, careers and life choices. Other leadership partners include Chica Program, Empowerment Through Sport Leadership Series.
Referee Program: Beyond Soccer sponsors referee courses for high school students with a desire to earn money while staying connected to a sport they love. Last spring, 6 Lawrence High School students became Essex County Youth Soccer referees.
School-year Internships: Beyond Soccer students, recognized for their commitment to sports and classroom achievement, help us in the office with administrative tasks. Students get to practice and improve their computer and communication skills.