Chester, Pa.—The U.S. Soccer Foundation selected Widener University to receive a $200,000 grant over two years to operate Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s after-school youth development program that uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles, for low-income students in the Chester Upland School District.
Widener was one of 13 organizations nationwide that was awarded Social Innovation Fund Sub-Grants totaling $3.6 million to support the implementation of Soccer for Success. This year, the Soccer for Success program is expanding to serve 13 cities and more than 12,000 children as a result of the award the Foundation received from the Social Innovation Fund.
Through Soccer for Success, Widener’s Athletic Department, the School of Nursing and the Widener Center for Violence Prevention will partner with the Philadelphia Union, Chester Youth Collaborative, and other local organizations to provide more than 700 youth with physical activity, nutrition education, mentoring and family engagement opportunities, according to Widener Athletic Director Jack Shafer.
“We are excited to be a recipient of a Soccer for Success grant so we can help grow this wonderful sport and promote healthy lifestyles for the children of Chester,” Shafer said.
“The U.S. Soccer Foundation is proud to receive an award from the Social Innovation Fund to expand the Soccer for Success national footprint,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and chief executive officer. “We believe that Soccer for Success is an innovative program that can make a positive impact on youth. We are happy to assist organizations that are committed to improving the well-being of children in at-risk communities using soccer.”
Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,600 students. Visit the university website, www.widener.edu.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States. Established in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has invested more than $55 million in all 50 states. The U.S. Soccer Foundation supports programs and field building projects that provide underserved youth in urban communities with opportunities that promote positive behavior, healthy lifestyles, self-confidence and positive alternatives to drugs, crime and other at-risk behaviors.