As of April, the ACJU Deportivo Project had between 100 and 110 youth attending the mid-week soccer practices and Saturday games. During the break times, these youth receive brief lessons on value development. Parents continue to report that their children’s grades have improved since they joined the project. It is very likely because youth cannot keep participating in the soccer league if they are failing in any subject. Additionally, as a result of some of the mothers’ active involvement in the league, their relationships with their children have begun to improve. There is now slightly more communication between parents and children, where before it was virtually non-existent.
In April, ACJU Deportivo took 33 community youth and 5 of their mothers on a field trip to attend practice with the professional Mexican soccer team, the “Pumas.” There, the players shared their experiences with the youth and encouraged them to work hard at their goals. Some of these youth had never traveled outside the municipality of Chimalhuacán where they live. The mothers who went on the field trip were very grateful for the opportunity their children had to meet their soccer heroes in person.
Youth from Tepalcates may never fully escape economic poverty. However, they can still lead full, rewarding lives. By partnering with ACJU Deportivo, you are making a lasting impact. You are helping improve their academic achievement. You are helping improve their relationships with their parents and their peers. You are helping expose them to opportunities they don’t see every day in the slums. You are helping give youth the skills they need for a brighter future.