July Photo of the Month: Undefeated!

Members of the Parsons FC

Scoring Big at Parsons Summer Programs

Members of the Parsons FC

The Parsons Football Club (FC), including eighth-grader Abdul, holding the Moroccan flag out of pride for his home country. The Child Center of NY serves large immigrant populations throughout the city.

Meet the fearless, friendly, and (nearly) undefeated participants of our first-ever Parsons FC!

This was the first year that our Parsons programs offered a soccer club, and we loved seeing the participants set their goals high (pun intended!). Throughout the school year, the team practiced after school three days a week, honing their skills with scrimmages and rondo soccer drills. With sustained effort, the support of the community, and a belief in their own potential, the team emerged undefeated in the regular season and during tournament play for the first ever International Mayor’s Cup, ultimately finishing second among 56 teams that came from places as far flung as Argentina and France.

The group was a mix of both our Beacon and SONYC programs and included youth from sixth to eighth grade. The tournament series took place in locations across Brooklyn with finals being held at C.S. 55 The Benjamin Franklin School inside its Street Soccer Arena in the Bronx.

The Child Center of NY operates four Beacon programs, which are school-based community centers that offer year-round recreational and learning opportunities for children and adults. We also operate eight SONYC programs, which provide afterschool and summer enrichment for middle schoolers.

“Regardless of age or language barriers, players came together in the name of soccer, and it was magic,” says Rafael Florero, Parsons Beacon Program Assistant Director. “They defeated France, Portugal, Argentina, and a USA Select Team. They also built memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, as their performance was seen by hundreds and impressed many along the way.”

The Child Center of NY offers more than 20 summer and afterschool programs for year-round enrichment. All of them are located right in our children’s schools and community centers. These programs enhance children’s lives and futures with academic support as well as creative and athletic activities such as arts, STEM, book clubs, dance, and, yes, soccer! All these pursuits have one thing in common: They provide an opportunity for youth to explore their strengths, expand their horizons, and experience the unique confidence that comes from working hard and excelling at something.

At Parsons this summer, activities include field trips and projects related to the summer’s theme, “Passport Around the World.” Participants will be touring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, visiting the American Museum of Natural History, and designing their classrooms based on what they learn about different countries.

“The youth and their families, and the whole community, can’t stop talking about the team’s fantastic success!” Rafael says. “I know this great experience will stay with our players long after the summer ends. We plan to win it all next year, as the group that is back for another year is hungry and can’t wait to play together again.”

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