STATESBORO, Ga.- South Georgia Tormenta FC has teamed up with the Migrant Education Program (MEP) for a second year to host soccer clinics for young players in Georgia. Tormenta coaches, players and staff gathered on June 10 and June 24 to host a fun-filled soccer clinic for 48 young players hailing from the United States, Mexico and Central America.
The opportunity to work with the migrant kids was an amazing experience. As a club it’s important to touch the lives of the younger generations no matter the background or situation they are facing. We have to remind children that they are children first and deserve to see what this beautiful world has to offer and what better than with the beautiful game. We got the opportunity to share an hour with them and this isn’t going to change their situations, but we can only hope that we made the best impact we could to remind them of the amazing things they are capable of achieving. - Jorge Gonzalez, South Georgia Tormenta FC Assistant Coach & Statesboro Director of Academy
Through a partnership with MEP, Tormenta FC hosted two separate clinics last month for migrant youth, one on June 10 for middle school aged students and one on June 24 for high school aged students. During the clinics, Tormenta FC players and coaches planned a small-sided soccer tournament for the kids with fun rules and extra points for celebrations.
The goal of the Migrant Education Program is to ensure that all migrant students reach challenging academic standards and graduate with a high school diploma (or complete a GED) that prepares them for responsible citizenship, further learning and productive employment. The program focuses on providing young migrants with the resources they need to succeed both in their schools and within their communities.
“The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a federally funded program designed to support comprehensive educational programs for migrant children to help reduce the educational disruption and other problems that result from repeated moves," said Cindell Mathis, MEP Region Coordinator. "The purpose of the MEP in Georgia (and the United States) is to ensure that migrant children fully benefit from the same free public education provided to all children. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is the direct recipient of Title I, Part C funds and is therefore responsible for ensuring the appropriate and best use of these funds. Middle and high school migrant students across the state of Georgia experience a one-week academic enrichment opportunity each summer. These residential summer programs expose participants to campus life at Georgia Southern University (GSU) through campus activities. The program is also designed to assist participants in improving their math, reading, language arts, fine arts, and leadership skills to convey the importance of a high school diploma and secondary education. As part of the leadership and team building activities the GaDOE MEP had the opportunity to introduce students to the Tormenta players and have them teach a variety of team and leadership skills during both summer programs."
With Statesboro being a primarily agricultural area with a large migrant population, Tormenta FC teamed up with MEP in order to connect the kids with the players, coaches and staff of Tormenta through an international sport and a common language of Spanish. The soccer clinics help provide the youth attendees with role models to look up to in their community and an outlet for them to exercise healthy habits. At the same time, the players, coaches and staff of Tormenta FC form impactful relationships with the youth within the program and continue to fulfill their mission of being a resource for the Statesboro community.
Although the clinic only lasted two days, the partnership with MEP is an impactful piece of the club’s plans to make soccer accessible to all. Tormenta FC continues to break down the barriers for inclusivity and diversity within the game through initiatives such as implementing an online Spanish presence to reach the club’s Hispanic fan base and has continued its work with hosting low-cost soccer clinics for children in Statesboro’s rural surroundings.
To learn more about the work Tormenta FC is doing in the Statesboro community, visit www.tormentafc.com/community.