Austin FC nonprofit giving back to low income students

Austin FC is bringing the central Texas community together on and off the pitch with the club’s non-profit arm 4ATX bringing back the Verde Leaders program for another season.

The program is a way to provide quality sports training to low-income students but it’s also about giving the kids tools to thrive personally and academically.

For 10 weeks the students get to work one on one with specially trained coaches and several Austin FC players too, such as Diego Fagundez and Brad Stuver.

The 4ATX Foundation partners with the Boys and Girls Club and Afterschool Centers For Education to make it possible.

The program also provides the students with other opportunities to grow emotionally and professionally, providing social workers and opportunities to become coaches as part of the Q2 Verde Youth Leadership Academy.

Participants in the program took a survey and this is what they said: 

  • 92% of Verde Leaders students feel more hopeful about their future because of the program.
  • 93% feel more connected to their communities.
  • 97% feel they now get along better with their classmates
  • 100% report they are trying harder in school because of the program.

"We're so lucky to have students that have been with us for all six years," Kaitlin Mauro said. "We've actually hired back seven different graduates from the program. It's amazing opportunity for them to not only have this free opportunity to play soccer and to develop social, emotional skills and mindfulness skills and all the things that we know will set them up for success in their future, but it's also a really amazing way for them to be connected to their club."

Over the past 6 years, the program has brought in over 1,000 students and 31 different schools with the goal of helping as many Title I schools as possible.

Each player gets an Adidas Verde Leaders Jersey and a chance to go to an Austin FC game in October.