Mission, Vision & Impact
America SCORES LA uses soccer, poetry, and service to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. Our innovative approach improves students’ health, academic achievement, and civic engagement.
Our vision for Los Angeles is for all children to have access to high-quality sports and enrichment programs regardless of income. America SCORES LA actively supports students from the earliest stages of elementary school until they finish high school.
America SCORES LA students outperform their peers in the classroom, are healthier, and demonstrate increased confidence. In addition 98% of Alumni participants have graduated from High School—far exceeding the District average of 60%.
America SCORES began when DC SCORES was founded as the first SCORES site in 1994 by Julie Kennedy, a former Teach for America teacher in Washington, DC. She invented the combination of soccer and poetry working with 15 girls after school in one of toughest neighborhoods in DC.
In 2002 America SCORES LA (ASLA) became the 6th local chapter of the national organization. ASLA (also previously known locally as LA SCORES) was founded to address the need for quality after-school programs in the Palms area, one of Los Angeles’ socio-economically under-resourced communities. ASLA provides a safe after-school alternative in an area where youth centers, libraries and parks are noticeably absent. Our overall goal is to cultivate the literacy and leadership skills that enable urban youth to excel in school and in life.
After launching at two elementary schools in the fall of 2002, ASLA has grown steadily over the years. Today we operate five days a week, between 2:30-4:30pm, in collaboration with Charnock Road, Braddock and Palms Elementary Schools as well as Palms Middle School of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Today, a total of 400 student athletes in grades K-12 (including high school alumni) participate in ASLA, led by a staff of 15-20 after-school coaches (several of which are ASLA former students). Coaches serve as literacy and/or soccer coaches, and each one is trained to use our innovative curricula.
ASLA provides a safe after school alternative in an area where youth centers, libraries and parks are noticeably absent. It is well documented that kids across the country continue to suffer from rising obesity rates and low literacy rates. This is an even greater problem for schools in under-resourced communities with less and less time to incorporate physical activity and creative arts into the school day. This is the disparity ASLA was formed to address. The recipe is simple. ASLA brings students together to play soccer, write, and perform community service. This helps them engage in their health, school, and community, providing students in under-resourced neighborhoods with the tools to succeed in school and life.