On June 27th, Executive Director Stephanie and the Board of Directors, led by new Board President Nina Leach, raised initial funding to provide Luiz Lopez with the first-ever Paul Wennik Outstanding Character Scholarship. This award (more below) means that Luiz, pictured with his family, including his twin brother Angel, received a $5,000 scholarship to support college tuition costs to attend UMass Lowell this fall. In Luiz’s case, it is fulfilling a much-needed tuition gap that the family was trying to meet and again came as a total surprise to both Luiz and Paul. Hopefully, you can tell from the photos!
Paul served as Beyond’s Board President for 10 years!
If you describe a person as outstanding, it means you think that they are remarkable and impressive. If you check the dictionary definition of character, it’s the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves. If you look at the picture above, it’s of Paul “Lefty” Wennik, Beyond Soccer’s biggest cheerleader and most prolific fundraiser, and the embodiment of an outstanding character. There is no holding Paul back when a cause is near and dear to his heart, especially when equity, access, or fairness are on the line. He has been involved with Beyond Soccer since its grassroots beginnings, tirelessly advancing the mission by connecting his vast network to the program and extolling sports’ unmatched role in young people’s lives…READ MORE
Luiz is a leader known at Beyond Soccer for a fun coaching style that hypes up all his young players with shouts of encouragement that sound like battle cries. His ability to project his voice and enthusiastically motivate players is well-known throughout the organization. Despite the personal obligations of school, a job, and playing for his own team, he stepped up this year when Beyond Soccer needed additional coaching staff. Luiz always takes the lead in rallying around a cause. He leads by example at practices, whether gathering the team for warm-ups or being the first to start the team sprint after a loss. His style and impact are exemplary and a mirror for some of Paul Wennik’s most outstanding characteristics.
Luiz’s journey at Beyond began in fourth grade. He and his twin brother Angel came in as talented young players, noticeably more skilled than their peers at age 10. He’s been a team player ever since and is a current Summer coach mentor. Luiz earned a GPA of 4.0 and will attend UMass Lowell in the fall. He is the first in his family to enroll in a four-year university.