Barça Academy in the Community: Seeds of Hope

Barça Academy in the Community

Seeds of Hope After School Program

May 18, 2018

It’s been the season of giving year-round at Barça Academy and giving back to the local community has become a staple within the Barça Academy program.

Barça Academy Residence Life Director, Gwen Brogley and ASU Prep – Casa Grande math teacher, Connie Dolezal, partnered and created a yearlong community service program for the Barça Academy and ASU Prep students to voluntarily participate in. The schedule of yearlong events included a wide range of volunteer opportunities for the students including: campus beautification, elementary school outreach, food and clothing drives, fundraisers, charity events and much more. The program was such a success that, students would sign up for volunteer events weeks and months in advance because every event would reach its volunteer capacity.

With the school year quickly coming to an end, the volunteer program is seeing out its final events. Last Thursday, the Barça Academy volunteer group made their last stop of the year at the Seeds of Hope after school program.

The Seeds of Hope after school program is a free, 100% volunteer/donation based after school program within the local community for children grades K-8. The program provides a safe and nurturing after school environment where students can get homework assistance, participate in arts and crafts, engage in indoor and outdoor activities and games, eat a nutritious meal and indulge in the learning enrichment program.

Barça Academy has been volunteering at the Seeds of Hope after school program since November of 2017. Making bi-weekly visits to the program, the Barça Academy players have created lasting bonds and relationships with the students. It is their ritual to help the students with their homework for an hour, eat a quick snack and host an outdoor soccer clinic or game for the students.

“Interacting with the future of the community, and having an influence on the kids is incredible,” said Barça Academy U-17 goalkeeper, Luke Pruter. “My favorite part of all the visits we have had is developing a relationship with the children. Being there so many times has allowed me to recognize the familiar faces… Developing these bonds, with the local young kids, has been the most fulfilling part of the experience!”

In anticipation for their last day at Seeds of Hope, Brogley and the Barça Academy group decided to give back to the program in a way that they haven’t before. The players collected clothes, shoes and soccer equipment to donate to the program while Brogley generously bought new school supplies, arts and crafts materials and toys to donate to the organization for the upcoming school year.

The Barça Academy volunteer group arrived to Seeds of Hope last Thursday baring the donated items in hand. As the players walked into the building, the Seeds of Hope students and staff were quickly overcome with joy at the sight of the surprise. The student’s faces lit up with joy and the staff was simply left speechless and nearly moved to tears.

“It was fantastic in the terms of seeing the impact we had on the kid’s faces,” said Brogley. “The staff’s reaction impacted me a little more so even than the children’s reaction. That staff volunteers so much of their time to provide for those kids day in and day out and seeing them just – go speechless – was really – really overwhelming.”

Brogley plans to continue the Seeds of Hope outreach program next school year and the Barça Academy players look forward to picking up right where they left off. “This has open my eyes to the poverty in the surrounding areas,” said Pruter “Fortunately, we were able to provide the foundation with some educational supplies, clothing and other necessities they lack. Hopefully, we will continue to make these contributions to Seeds of Hope and other community organizations in need!”

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