Service to Community Award: Starfinder Foundation
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is proud to honor the Starfinder Foundation with its Service to Community Award. Starfinder was established in 2002 to provide underserved youth of Philadelphia the tools they need to achieve success both on and off the soccer field. The foundation will be honored at the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Annual Awards Banquet Saturday, February 24th at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer established the Service to Community award in 2015 to honor individuals or organizations that over a period of years have made outstanding contributions to the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer community. Honorees have consistently demonstrated a willingness to help others, share their resources and promote inclusion and respect. They may be members of our soccer community doing outstanding works off the field, or have used soccer as their vehicle to help improve the lives of those around them.
“Our mission statement includes ‘all youth’ at ‘all levels of play’ for a reason. Providing opportunity and support to all communities is important to us,” said Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome. “The Starfinder Foundation and its terrific staff has done an incredible of using soccer as a means to inspire, educate and improve lives. They are a great advocate for the young men and women of Philadelphia."
The Starfinder Foundation began as a weeklong soccer camp for 23 children then quickly evolved into an afterschool program. Since then, Starfinder has added summer programs, leadership camps and comprehensive opportunities that go beyond the soccer field. While soccer is the hook, the foundation succeeds in inspiring its children to get active in their communities and pursue higher education. Since 2008, 100 percent of regularly participating high school seniors graduated and 93 percent matriculated into college. Based in Manayunk with a 30,000 square-foot facility that includes an indoor soccer field to call home, Stafinder has served more than 9,000 Philadelphia children since its inception.
The Starfinder Foundation has been recognized with various awards, most recently the 2017 GSK Impact Award in recognition of innovative and transformational programs that make communities healthier.