The growth of the Life Works program (formerly called School of Life) impacts the lives of hundreds of teenagers in need of opportunities to achieve success in life. Through year round soccer and employability training, we produce the next generation of leaders, both in and out of the soccer world. Teenage participants serve as role models and junior coaches for their younger peers, increasing the capacity of the organization and preparing the next generation for success.
Kids drive our programs and teen participants expressed that their greatest concern and need is employment. It is documented that the unemployment rate in Georgia among minorities is over 16%. Many of our kids lack the guidance and support to prepare themselves for employment prospects and risk dropping out of school, joining gangs and taking part in criminal activity.
Through discussions with business owners and community leaders, they often find an insufficient pool of qualified candidates. They have stressed the need for programming which prepares young people to become responsible, employable adults and develops “soft skills” that will prepare new employees for the workplace. School of Life graduates will have the tools to stand out in this more competitive marketplace.
The program combines participation on soccer teams with regular workshops and off the field experiences to prepare young adults for success. The teams train at least twice per week and play games on weekends on a year round basis. While the lessons learned on the soccer field are important, the off the field sessions are geared towards introducing opportunities to succeed to our participants in a variety of fields. Our programming staff and advisers identify topics and field trips that are engaging and can lead to the future success of our graduates. Staff expertise will be enhanced by dynamic professionals in the relevant field that bring important lessons to life for the kids.