Fernando Zuniga – Head Women’s Soccer Coach

I am writing this letter in support of the Lewiston Soccer Leadership Academy located in Lewiston, Maine. The academy provides an incredible opportunity for kids to learn valuable social skills through the sport of soccer at no cost. Many of the participants come from underprivileged backgrounds which can prove to be a major obstacle in their social development. The academy also provides kids with a safe space where they feel like they belong. As a child, I grew up in an immigrant households with very little financial means. Soccer became an escape for me at a very young age just like it was for many of my friends in similar situations. The current club/ academy soccer model in the United States is on a play to pay system. This means that for kids with little to no financial means, the opportunity to be a part of a soccer team becomes nearly impossible. Therefore, the opportunity that the Lewiston Soccer Leadership Academy provides in my opinion is a great way to serve underprivileged kids that would not have this opportunity otherwise