Community Goals Organization

Community Goals strives to improve the lives of homeless youth through soccer.

Photo of Cooper Ferguson
9 2

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

August 24, 2003.

Where are you located:

California: Vista 92083

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://communitygoalsnonp.wixsite.com/home

Date Started

4-10-18

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Me and a group of my friends wanted to change lives. Most of us are really passionate about soccer and we wanted a way to combine their passion for soccer and helping out people in need. This gave us the idea for going to homeless shelters and playing soccer with the kids. Through extensive research we realized that this program has great benefits to the kids.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

We are trying to solve the issue of low-income homeless kids not having the same opportunities to play sports as other children. This is a problem because every child is important and money shouldn't be a reason that they can not be a part of a team. We are giving these children something to look forward to, and not only that, but when you're in a team sport you learn many new things like communication skills and collaboration skills.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our initial idea was to go to a soccer field and invite homeless kids to come play with us; however, we realized they would not have a ride to the soccer field. This gave us the idea to go to the homeless shelters and play with them there. Then, we looked up a bunch of youth homeless shelters, until we found Solutions For Change. We contacted them and they allowed us to run our program there.

We went to Solutions for Change with a soccer ball and a couple of cones and waited for kids to arrive. Only a couple kids showed up and we played soccer with them. I thought it was a complete failure that only 4 kids showed up, but when the other kids saw us playing soccer, they joined us. By the end of our first meeting we had 9 kids at our meeting. Every meeting we would play soccer with the kids and teach them things they did not know how to do in hopes of giving them something to look forward to. This is a great model for an organization because all we need is teen volunteers and a soccer ball. The kids do not have to do anything but step out side the shelter.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Our first meeting went great. We arrived around 4:15 and waited until kids showed up around 4:30. We got to know the kids by playing icebreaker games and just talking to the kids. Then we brought out the soccer ball and the kids faces lit up. We played with theses three girls. These girls were really energetic and eager to learn. They were not that confident about their soccer skills, but after every meeting they slowly got more and more confident. They came to every single meeting and they really improved their soccer expertise. The best part is on our last meeting they told us that they really enjoyed our program and they are going to miss us. They also told us that they wanted to continue playing soccer because of us. Most kids who came through our program ended up loving soccer.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

What is different about Community Goals is that we are high school students trying to make a change in these young children's lives. These kids don’t need to go anywhere to play soccer, we bring soccer to them. Going to the homeless shelter make it more accessible for the kids to play soccer they don’t have to go anywhere we go to them and bring the equipment, all they have to do is have fun.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

So far we’ve had 4 meetings. We have helped 14 kids. We wanted a way to see if we made an impact, so at the end of all of our meetings we would ask the kids questions. We needed to take this data to see if we fulfilled our mission.
ed our mission.
      Surprisingly, 100% of the kids we surveyed said they enjoyed the event and said they had a good time. These questions are necessary, but the best part about going to the events wasn't getting the numbers, it was getting to know the kids. A girl that stood out was Phoenix. She had no idea how to play soccer, but after one meeting she found a new passion. She told us our program made her wanted to go outside and play soccer. Even after one meeting, we had impacted her life, and that is powerful to us.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We want to expand our reach. Instead of working with one local shelter, we want to work with many shelters. Eventually, we would want to branch out to different cities outside of San Diego County, or even outside of California.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We already have have a website and our first location, Solutions For Change, but if we want to expand we will need a few things. First, we will need help getting volunteers to run our program. My small group can’t run our program on our own. Most of us can’t even drive yet. Plus if we expand to more cities we will need people in those cities to volunteer. We will also need a small budget to buy gear for the children to use.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Mentors/advisors

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We could reach out to other High Schoolers like us and see if they would like to volunteer. They could also earn valuable community service hours. If we had more volunteers we could branch out and make a bigger difference. We usually only had 2 people running our programs, so if we had more people we could have more kids at our programs.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Word of mouth
  • Other

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

It was my Humanities Teacher. He told me about the Challenge because he knew me and my friends were starting an organization.

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Photo of Meagan Warren
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I love what you guys are doing for the community! It is so important for kids to be exposed to sports like soccer! In the future it might be cool if you expanded your outreach into other sports (lacrosse field hockey, baseball?)! Keep up the great work!!

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