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Youth soccer program hopes to save lives – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2021-10-10 21:21:00 –

Hispanic Americans have built a legacy of activity and change in the Central Coast community. One of the most influential programs is the Aztecas Youth Soccer Academy in Watsonville, California. Gina Castañeda says football saved her life. Despite being a child of neglect and abuse, Castagneda learned games, a sport deeply rooted in Hispanic culture. By the early teens, the high school team was her lifeline. I live on the street, “said Castagneda. And people didn’t really know me at that point. And I was just this wonderful freshman, out in the field and people were like, “Where are you from?” And what they didn’t know about me was that I was full of wounds and pain, loved eating out of the trash, and really, really, really struggling in life. I continued to work at school to improve my grades so that I could play as a team. And the team really became my family. Soccer helped her escape from a gangster who swallowed so many of her brothers and her friends. She became a protection observer and worked with other children in need. “I was convinced that football could save my life and I could use football to save their lives,” said Castagneda. That is why the Aztec Youth Soccer Academy was born. An intervention program for high-risk children who have passed the Santa Cruz County Probation Office. Castañeda remembers the first day he saw two rival gang members working together in the field. And that was the beginning of what Aztecus is today, “said Castagneda. Tutoring sessions and life skills classes. See the full text in the video above.

Hispanic Americans have built a legacy of activity and change in the Central Coast community. One of the most influential programs is the Aztecas Youth Soccer Academy in Watsonville, California.

Gina Castagneda will tell you that football has saved her life. Despite being a child of neglect and abuse, Castagneda learned games, a sport deeply rooted in Hispanic culture.

By the early teens, the high school team was her lifeline.

“Until I entered high school, I was homeless and lived on the street,” said Castagneda. And people didn’t really know me at that point. And I was just this wonderful freshman, out in the field and people were like, “Where are you from?” And what they didn’t know about me was that I was full of wounds and pain, loved eating out of the trash, and really, really, really struggling in life. I continued to work at school to improve my grades so that I could play as a team. And the team really became my family. “

Soccer helped escape the gang who swallowed her brothers and many friends. She became a protection observer and worked with other children in need.

“Football saved my life, and I knew I could use football to save their lives,” Castagneda said.

That is why the Aztec Youth Soccer Academy was born. An intervention program for high-risk children who have passed the Santa Cruz County Probation Office.

Castañeda remembers the first day he saw two rival gang members working together in the field.

“And I had the biggest smile on my face because I knew what we did at that time, and that was the beginning of what Aztecus is today.” Said Castagneda.

Thirteen years later, Astecus breaks these cycles and connects with cutting-edge children.

That compassion extends beyond the football field, and children are required to attend tutoring sessions and life skills classes.

See the full text in the video above.

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