Our biggest passion is improving the lives of the people around us.
最好的朋友 斯宾塞Lalk“13 和 帕特里克·斯万克的14 有一种特殊的纽带. The two sports enthusiasts first met when they joined Arcadia’s Men’s Soccer team 和 they quickly hit it off. 三年了, the Arcadians bonded over arduous practices, 更衣室里的玩笑, 和 celebrating each other's victories on 和 off the field.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sports psychology, Lalk moved out to San Diego to pursue his doctorate in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine for 健康科学. A dem和ing study schedule 和 holding down a job as a physical trainer doesn’t leave much free time, but the New Jersey native was determined to make room in his life for the sport that he’s loved since childhood.
我这样告诉自己, 无论我做什么, I’m going to have enough stress from school that I’m going to do something that I really enjoy,”他说. “A parent reached out to me wanting to start a soccer program at a Montessori school. I started to realize the potential there.”
In 2014, Lalk helped form the 足球统一项目 (少量), a nonprofit organization that provides children 和 their families the opportunity to be a part of a fun 和 educational soccer community.
“We offer after-school soccer to elementary aged kids of all socioeconomic levels. A unique addition that our program offers is the opportunity for our youth to get involved in community service events,” said Lalk who serves as chief executive officer 和 board member for SUP.
In addition to playing weekly games, coaches work with youth to plan bimonthly service projects. In the first year of the program, participants wrote letters to military troops 和 delivered them personally; raised money for Parkinson's disease 和 breast cancer research; provided social activities for elderly 和 youth living in homeless shelters, 并捐赠了150磅. of books to be distributed to underprivileged students throughout the continent of Africa.
Lalk began to envision the possibility of building one of the greatest nonprofit organizations that San Diego has ever seen. He soon called on his best friend from college for help.
正如拉尔克所说, “我联系了帕特里克, 和 asked him to come check out the project— he fell in love. 他很投入.”
2015年1月, Swank packed up 和 moved to California to serve as director of operations 和 coaching. In addition, he's joined Lalk at the University of St. Augustine for 健康科学 to also pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy.“School 和 the 足球统一项目 keep us busy for sure,” Swank said. “It’s been an awesome experience to move across the country with one of my best friends to grow a company centered around something we both enjoy. We put our hearts 和 souls into this work.”
SUP operates as a league of its own. The organization currently has eight coaches working with 150 elementary students at six different schools throughout San Diego. Throughout the season, the teams compete against each other, but no score is taken during the games. The duo says they are more interested in camaraderie 和 teaching life skills.
“We’re teaching them that failure is an opportunity to learn, 和 that failure can eventually lead to success,”Lalk说.
“We’ve never taken a business course in our life, but you learn as you go 和 you address the obstacles as they come. We learned that together at Arcadia. We are so thankful for the skills the University has given us to be successful in our careers.——斯宾塞·拉尔克
“We’re going to exp和 throughout California 和 eventually the nation. We’re not forcing ourselves to settle. We could do something that would bring in more money but we choose not to. We wake up every day 和 we’re happy. That’s what pushes us forward. ——斯宾塞Lalk