Soccer For Success

Our Mission

We work to increase youth soccer opportunities and access for all children in Washington,
with a primary focus on underserved youth and communities.

We have seen the power soccer has to build character and unite communities –
and every community deserves equitable access to every youth opportunity available.

With our free, after-school soccer programs for at-risk youth
and leading the drive for increased capacity to serve every youth in Washington,
we believe soccer is the key to community strength and social change.

Our Vision

Every child has a safe, healthy after-school experience: According to the Afterschool Alliance, more than 18 million children nationwide are in need of healthy, active after-school opportunities. The hours of 2-6PM are the most dangerous hours in a day for youth in communities with high poverty rates and fewer community resources.

Soccer is a tool for creating social change: Coach-Mentors have the unique power to guide youth through the importance of doing well in school and avoiding negative influences such as drugs, alcohol, and violence. By using soccer, youth who would traditionally not be interested in entering a formal mentorship bond with caring adults.

A healthy lifestyle improves the health of families: Through a healthy diet and at least sixty minutes of active play each day, youth learn how a healthy lifestyle can benefit not only themselves, but their entire family. Lessons on healthy eating are put into practice by families at home, increasing healthy, balanced meals eaten each week.

Increased access to youth soccer brings communities together: Youth of varied cultural backgrounds learn to play together and build friendships and empathy skills. Families cheer on their children at practice and share cultural traditions with fellow families at family engagement nights. New bonds are fostered that last beyond the soccer field.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can my Club or Association get involved with U.S. Soccer Foundation?

Currently the U.S. Soccer Foundation offers grants to support local soccer initiatives and growing the youth game across the nation. Most often supporting field development and programs in low income, urban areas, these grants have supported Washington Youth Soccer programs such as Soccer Across Washington and the Anti-Gang Initiative. To learn more about funding possibilities for your Club or Association visit If you have any questions about applying for a grant contact Rachel Wilton at

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How can this program help my Club or Association?

With the national focus on physical activity and the importance of nutritional education for youth, this program puts Washington and youth soccer on the cutting edge of youth development. As such, Washington Youth Soccer has partnered with numerous programs and organizations to grow the impact of this program, partnerships which can help connect your Club and/or Association to their resources and funding. As we continue to educate our state on the importance of youth soccer to develop healthy, active youth through soccer, we look to leverage this program to build stronger relationships with our schools, health-based organizations and other youth programs, ultimately connecting more kids to local soccer opportunities and our Clubs/Associations.

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Can I volunteer?

Yes! We will be offering several Family Events and Soccer for Success wide events throughout the year and will look for volunteers to help make these events a success. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Rachel Wilton at, with the subject line “Soccer for Success Volunteer.”

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I am a coach, how can I get involved?

Each school will be provided three paid coaches, so if you are a youth soccer coach within Washington Youth Soccer, we encourage you to read the job description and apply. Coaches will be hired throughout the summer and the winter. For job description and application details, visit our Employment page.

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How do I get Soccer for Success at my school?

Our Soccer for Success schools were chosen for the percentage of free/reduced lunch recipients, community diversity and geographic location. Although potential for additional or new locations is limited, to highlight your school as a potential future recipient of Washington Youth Soccer’s Soccer for Success Program, contact Rachel Wilton at

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What happens on rainy days or snow days?

Washington Youth Soccer and our school-based site-coordinators will work together to make sure that the playing space is safe for our players. On days with rain, practice will be held indoors in the gymnasium, cafeteria or other safe, open space. For days when school is canceled (snow days etc) Washington Youth Soccer will make every effort to schedule a make-up day, ensuring that players complete the 108 total hours of participation.

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How is each 90 minute session structured?

Each Soccer for Success session lasts for 90 minutes after school and is provided three times a week for two twelve-week seasons. During the 90 minute session players are provided a healthy snack, physical activity and mentorship. Players will be picked up or permitted to walk home/take public transportation after each session.

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What partnerships or supporting organizations are working with Soccer for Success?

U.S. Soccer Foundation
Washington Youth Soccer
Communities In Schools Auburn
Community School Collaboration
Seattle Sounders FC
Kent School District
Auburn School District

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What do players receive as a participant in Soccer for Success?

Each player will be provided 108 hours of soccer and nutritional education, including Family Engagement Events throughout the year, nutritional information and other events/resources. Additionally, each registered player who attends a minimum of 80% of the season will be awarded a Soccer for Success jersey (fall) and a soccer ball medal (spring) in recognition of their attendance.

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Who can participate in Soccer for Success?

Players are made up from the student body at each supporting school and are boys/girls from first grade to fifth/sixth grade.

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When and where is the Soccer for Success program?

Our Soccer for Success program consists of two, twelve-week seasons. The fall season runs from September through December, and the spring season runs from March through May. Washington Youth Soccer is currently operating its fourth season of Soccer for Success. Each school supports the program, with the practices taking place at the school.

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Why South Seattle?

South Seattle was our chosen for this program due to a number of reasons, such as:

  • One in five South Seattle children are classified as overweight or obese
  • 19% of all South Seattle youth live in poverty (compared to 14.3% of Greater Seattle)
  • More than 130 different languages are spoken across South Seattle
  • 70% of all refugees relocated to Washington are placed in South Seattle

Due to these facts and many more, we believe that our Soccer for Success program can have the largest impact in this region due to its physical activity and nutritional education focus.

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Where is Washington Youth Soccer’s Soccer for Success Program located?

Soccer for Success operates in 12 elementary schools in the Highline, Kent, and Auburn School Districts. The schools are:

Alpac Elementary School
Beverly Park Elementary School
Bow Lake Elementary School
East Hill Elementary School
Fairwood Elementary School
Gildo Rey Elementary School
Kent Elementary School
Madrona Elementary School
Parkside Elementary School
Southern Heights Elementary School
Terminal Park Elementary School
Washington Elementary School

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What is the Social Innovation Fund?

The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) intended to improve the lives of people in low-income communities. It does so by mobilizing public and private resources to grow promising, innovative community-based solutions that have evidence of compelling impact in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

The Social Innovation Fund employs an operating and program model that is itself innovative and truly represents a “new way of doing business” for the federal government.

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What is U.S. Soccer Foundation?

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $55 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states. To deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation’s affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit to learn more.

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What is Soccer for Success?

Soccer for Success is the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s innovative youth development program that uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles for children in under-resource urban communities. Washington Youth Soccer runs the program in South Seattle for over 1,200 low-income children who otherwise would not have access to soccer programs.

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Rachel Wilton – Soccer for Success Program Lead