The 10th annual soccer tournament was hosted by the Arlington Gang Prevention Task Force on Saturday May 23rd in Washington Lee High School in Arlington.
The soccer tournament serves as an opportunity for the youth to learn about the extracurricular programs in our community centers as well as those offered by the partners. Edu-Futuro, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Office of the Attorney General, and Children of Imprisoned Parents International (COIPI) support the program and at the same time present their plans that help youth and their families be safer and healthier.
These programs provide teens with the opportunity to engage in positive recreation and personal development activities. The youth participating in programs like those offered by Arlington Parks and Recreation, Teen Network Board, Arlington Soccer Association, Workforce Investment Act and other programs are less likely to become involved in gangs, engage in substance abuse and other destructive behaviors. In this tournament, the youth follow their mentors, learn to be part of the team, reach their goals by creating strong team work and engage being part of the mentoring program.
The National Gang Crime Research Center reports that 80% of gang members reported they would leave the gang if offered the right help. About 100 youths on May 23rd received the right help from experts who have worked over a decade with youth. With the strong relationship that they had with the faculty of Arlington Gang Prevention Task Force, these young adults show engagement and they may stay on the right path, away from misconduct.
There were 10 teams that were mentored by volunteers in the right direction and they made sure that they are learning about the different prevention programs in Arlington County and promoting the message, “Breaking Barriers One Goal at a Time”. It was a great volunteer opportunity to meet professionals working with at-risk youth and making a huge impact on our community.
COIPI created a connection and reconnect to people in the justice system in Arlington. We’
ll pursue this possible opportunity to hear from them and learn more about the offenders and their children’s’ needs in this area and also connect to new organizations.
It was also a great opportunity to learn more about organizing an event, working with volunteers and creating timely planning.
Through the 10th annual soccer tournament in Arlington, we also got the opportunity to present COIPI in public to Iranians who live in DC, Virginia and Maryland.