Please Support Casa Partner Starfinder Foundation

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Did you ever think that soccer could change children’s lives? Starfinder is doing just that—using soccer to help children in underserved communities. Casa Soccer League proudly supports Starfinder. Please make a gift today to support their valuable work: http://starfinderfoundation.org/top-menu/donate.html

To learn more about this great organization, click here: www.starfinderfoundation.org, or read on. Their full request letter follows.
______________________________________________________________________

Dear friend,

Did you ever think that soccer could change children’s lives? Did you ever imagine that futbol, the global sport, could help children in Philadelphia with limited options reach their fullest potential?

We know it can, and we live it every day. Through programs that blend soccer with education and opportunity, Starfinder helps youth find the star in themselves. We help children develop the tools necessary to succeed in school, in their communities, and in their lives. And soccer is the hook – a starting point on the pathway to success.

I’m writing to ask for your support. By investing in our work, you will be nurturing young people in need. You’ve probably heard these sobering statistics:

-> 46% of Philadelphia public school 6th graders fail to graduate from high school.

-> Only 1 in 10 students who entered a Philadelphia public high school in 1999 had earned a two-or four-year college degree 10 years later.

Meanwhile numerous studies show that students who complete high school and continue their education do significantly better economically. Not only do they enjoy a better quality of life and a wider array of opportunities, but success at a young age can make the difference between future dependence on public assistance versus contributing economically to the community we all share.

But this is about more than just dollars.

Youth in underserved communities are full of aspiration, but often lack the support of adults and institutions to help them map out and take the steps necessary to achieve their dreams. Starfinder provides an engaging, structured pathway for success and encourages its participants to aspire to lives of distinction. In the last two years 100% of our seniors graduated high school and over 80% continued on to further education.

Please click here to support our work: http://starfinderfoundation.org/top-menu/donate.html.

Special Thank You Gifts:
> For a gift of $50 or more you will receive a Starfinder scarf.
> For a gift of $100 or more you will be entered into a drawing for a soccer ball signed by the US Men's World Cup team.

Check out these thank you gifts here: http://starfinderfoundation.org/support-sf/2010-annual-campaign.html#gifts.

Our programs for 6-18 year olds are fun, engaging, and physical. Soccer is the hook, and learning happens through a wide variety of experiences on the field and in the classroom. Geography, world cultures, health and nutrition, reading, media literacy, SAT and college prep, problem solving, and decision making are core components of our curriculum. We cultivate long-term relationships with our youth, recognizing that greater depth leads to greater impact.

Last year, we served 720 young people, most of whom had 80% or better attendance. We must be doing something right because our participants come back season after season, year after year.

This summer, for the first time, we trained and hired twenty-one of our Senior Leaders (teen participants) to work as counselors in our six-week summer camps in five Philadelphia communities. During the training, the teens honed their communication, group facilitation, and public speaking skills. They learned how to deliver the Starfinder curriculum and earned a youth coaching license from EPYSA. And then they got the “real” leadership training—on the field with the kids.

We think the summer was a huge success. But don’t take our word for it. See what our teens had to say:

“I found my voice on the field and became less timid to speak.” – Nury Ortiz

“Working at Starfinder was also my very first job. I learned how to do timesheets and how to ride the bus all by myself. Wow, that was really a big deal for me and my mom.” – Giselle Gravatt

“Working this summer made me feel that I was important in the community.” – Mohamed Bah

“This [summer] gave me more confidence with the children and with myself which will help prepare me for life outside of school and soccer.” – Sammy Ortiz

“I never knew in a thousand years that I could ever change a person’s life, especially a kid’s life.” – Isha Sesay

Your support will help us continue to set kids on a path to success, equipped with the tools to make healthy choices and become leaders in their communities… or wherever their dreams take them.

Thank you for investing in the success of our youth. http://starfinderfoundation.org/top-menu/donate.html.

Sincerely,

Stephen H. Baumann
President & CEO

Posted by Ryan Pine, Created Wed Nov 17, 2010, Updated Mon Nov 22, 2010

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