Why Soccer

Before we were America’s only network of schools dedicated to refugee and immigrant education, we were an underdog soccer team. 

The Fugees started with a pickup game of soccer – and now, more than 15 years later, the power of soccer to build confidence, discipline and community remains a core pillar of our model. Our color scheme even originates from the colors of the Brazilian soccer team.

In their new home country, students must learn a new language, become part of a new culture, and participate in new practices of schooling, yet soccer – the world’s favorite sport – is familiar to all students.  

Played in both refugee camps and affluent communities, soccer transcends ethnic identity, religion, nationality and is a source of fun, exercise, and community. It  supports social-emotional development and the relational trust required to take the academic risks necessary for rapid growth.

Soccer is for everybody. 

Soccer is a universal language – but it’s not always universally accessible. We do whatever it takes to break down economic, cultural, and physical barriers to make sure all students know they’re valuable members of the team, regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, or physical ability. 

We cover all registration, field rental, and equipment costs for our players. Fugees with injuries or disabilities that prevent them from playing soccer are assigned essential team roles. 

On Team Fugees, everybody has something important to contribute, and everyone’s wins – big or small – are worth celebrating.