Starfinder Foundation is one of 27 organizations globally – and one of only three US-based organizations – selected to join the first collaboration cycle of Common Goal. Currently in the inception stage with initial funding from 40 professional soccer players and managers, Common Goal expects to expand exponentially. Common Goal is a worldwide initiative dedicated to supporting local organizations that have successfully used soccer as a tool to tackle tough social issues.
In this first cycle, Manchester United star Juan Mata and Alberto Prada Vega of Wiener Neustadt designated 4,500€ (over $5,000) to Starfinder through Common Goal to support its work – and their priority – to advance gender equality.
Starfinder will use their support to help cover the cost of female coaches in its soccer and education programs for low-income and underserved girls. In particular, Starfinder will prioritize hiring and training female graduates of its high school program in order to support their continued development as young leaders and to provide inspiring, relatable role models to girls coming from similar backgrounds.
“Girls and young women face tremendous barriers to playing soccer, especially those living in marginalized communities. They have less access to quality programs, fewer role models, and less social support,” explained Starfinder’s Executive Director, Heidi Warren. “Being selected to partner with Common Goal, and particularly with Juan and Alberto, is a tremendous honor for Starfinder and our students. Their support will help more girls become strong athletes and confident leaders.”
In addition to Juan Mata and Alberto Prada Vega of Wiener Neustadt, participants in Common Goal include US women’s national team players Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), and Heather O’Reilly (Arsenal FC), as well as local favorite David Accam of the Philadelphia Union.