DeKalb, IL — A one-of-a-kind soccer program in San Francisco is promoting empowerment, collaboration and skill-building to young girls through soccer.
The nonprofit, Girls Leading Girls, was established in 2014 and focuses on teaching girls life and soccer skills through healthy competition.
The organization’s CEO and Women's Sports Foundation Grantee Brianna Russell chose soccer because it's a team sport and one of the only sports that aren't altered for women.
"What I love about soccer is that it teaches so many skills that are applicable on and off the field," Girls Leading Girls Managing Director Megan Arabian said, according to ABC 7 Chicago. "It teaches you how to share, how to socialize with your peers, how to communicate and how to have confidence in yourself."
The program also focuses on empowering girls to be leaders within their communities, while encouraging girls from different socioeconomic backgrounds to work together.
"I have not seen something else that does all the things that we do," Russell said. "There's different organizations that are just a club program or just an after school program, but there are not a lot of organizations that have all women running and leading.
Participant Nora Reed said, "I've never felt so accepted on a team. It really helps you find other people that you can be yourself around and they'll help you find out who you want to be inside and outside of soccer."