On a bright sunny Los Angeles afternoon, we had the pleasure to sit down with Geoff Wilson, the Executive Director of LA Scores. Part of the America Scores initiative, LA Scores does a fantastic job not only engaging young athletes in underserved communities in LA, but in proving its model by get outstanding results off the field.
America Scores LA states its mission to “inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.”
Scores LA brings students together to play soccer, write and perform community service. This program helps them engage in their health, school and community, providing students in under-resourced neighborhoods with the tools to succeed in school and life.
Geoff’s energy and passion for using soccer to help the kids was surpassed only by the amazing results the organization is able to achieve off the field. Among some of their impressive accomplishments are:
- 75% of students each year improve their grammar and writing mechanics
- 85% of students each year improve their cardiovascular capacity
- 98% graduated for high school (far surpassing the district average of 60%).
- Attend 9 more days of school per year.
As the kids progress through the programs offered by LA Scores, they improve their academics, physical fitness and team work skills and they walk away feeling empowered to help improve their communities.
America Scores LA is part of a national network that serves over 11,000 students at 245 public and charter schools in 12 major cities.
The 20 week curriculum is designed to align with the National Council of Teachers of English’s 12 Standards for English Language Arts, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education’s 5 Standards for Physical Education and the National Youth Leadership Council’s K-12 Service-Learning Standards. It provides programming 5 days per week for 1.5 hours per day. Three of those days relate to soccer (practice or games), while the other two involve poetry or service.
The organization has an impressive array of sponsors, but more importantly it has incredible testimonials from youth that have been served by their program.