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100 Projects for Peace Awarded to Carlos Espina ’21 for his project, “Football for the Future.”

Carlos will be working with Football for Future, a volunteer-run non-profit organization founded by him that, through free co-ed summer soccer camps, provides youth in the Bryan/College Station area the opportunity to play soccer over the summer, regardless of their family income or background.

As the most popular sport in the world and renowned for being ‘the people's game’, soccer has the ability to change lives and bring communities together in a way that very few other things can. For many, soccer is a passion that leaves a positive impact on their lives, as it is a way to make friends and forget about problems, provide a healthy alternative to crime, drugs, and other things that destroy lives, and teaches us values such as dedication, camaraderie, and humility. Most importantly, for millions of people all over the world, soccer provides a source of joy and hope, even in difficult times. Thus, we should view soccer as not only a sport but as a tool that, if managed correctly, can create positive change in the world. However, for soccer to have a real impact, it must be accessible to all communities, including the ones that are most vulnerable.

While lack of access to soccer is an issue, it is not the only one facing the community and the demographic that Football for the Future serves. Given that almost all the participants are low-income youth, they also struggle with access to education, especially in the summer. For this reason, he will expand the services of Football for the Future to include an educational aspect with various components. The goal of this initiative is to encourage the volunteers to work hard and inspire them to pursue higher education.