Student Well-Being

Bill Clinton Helping Launch Mexican Youth-Soccer Program

By Bryan Toporek — April 27, 2011 1 min read
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Former President Bill Clinton announced a partnership with Mexican mogul Carlos Slim last week on a youth-sports project in Mexico intended to draw teenagers and young adults back to school.

The project, named A Ganar (“to win” and “to earn” in Spanish), will receive funding and support for its implementation in Chihuahua, Mexico, from the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative and Fundación Carlos Slim. Both foundations will provide A Ganar with an undisclosed amount of money and will use a local organization in the drug-war-ravaged Ciudad Juarez to monitor the program’s development, according to the Associated Press.

A Ganar is a four-phase program that uses soccer and other team sports to teach youths ages 16-24 how to apply sport lessons to personal skill development necessary for jobs. In the first phase, youths receive sports-based employment training, in which the core values of respect, teamwork, discipline, communication, focus on results, and continued self-improvement are stressed. The program then gives the young people targeted vocational training, internship experience, and a web of alumni support.

The implementation of A Ganar in Chihuahua is expected to enroll 900 youths, and based on its success, Clinton and Slim may consider expanding the program to other parts of the country.

A Ganar has already trained more than 5,000 youths in nine Latin American countries, according to a press release from the Clinton fundation’s website. More than 70 percent of participants end up graduating from the program, and the majority of graduates either return to school, obtain formal employment, or start their own business within a year of graduation, according to A Ganar’s website.

“We are delighted to participate in a project that uses sports to encourage young people to seek better opportunities,” said Mr. Clinton in the press release.

The CGSGI is a partnership among the William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, and governments, that seeks to reduce poverty through social-development projects.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.