LAFC Foundation

LAFC Foundation: Force For Good Fridays Newsletter 11/10/23

lafc foundation newsletter

Who We Are

The LAFC Foundation furthers our Club’s mission of uniting the world’s city through the world’s game, bringing joy to people, and being a force for good in our community by supporting critical programs and bringing the indomitable Black & Gold spirit wherever we go. By supporting the programming and infrastructure that allow young people to access our favorite game, we provide not only fun and physical exercise – but also critical mentorship and a pathway to lifelong success beyond the pitch.

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Spotlight feature Jose Llamas sits at his desk in his classroom surrounded by LAFC memorabilia.

Spotlight: Jose Llamas, 32nd Street USC Media Arts and Engineering Magnet Teacher

On October 12th, LAFC and Metro by T-Mobile partnered to host a Latin American History tour around Los Angeles for students at 32nd Street USC Media Arts and Engineering Magnet. Led by Cal State Los Angeles history professor Enrique Ochoa, students gained historical knowledge of the Los Angeles Latin culture and even had the opportunity to meet LAFC player, Erik Dueñas. 

We sat down to discuss the impact and importance of the tour with Ethnic Studies, Film, and Graphic Arts teacher Jose Llamas. Jose also co-coaches the high school girls' basketball team – and as an LA-native, he’s a huge LAFC fan!  

How long have you been teaching? 

I’ve been teaching for 17 years. When I was around 20 years old, I became a Teacher's Assistant at my old elementary school and fell in love with the job. I led after-school sports programs and worked with great teachers who motivated me to go back to school to pursue a career in education.  

Why was the recent Latin American tour important for your students? 

This field trip was so important because it provided an interactive way for students to take in the history and better understand the Latino roots in Los Angeles. Seeing the history in-person allowed students a deeper understanding and strong connection to what we’re learning in class – all about LA’s different cultures, and the specific issues that Latinos face in our city. 

How did the tour affect your students? What did they take away from it? 

The students can’t stop talking about their experience on the tour: It was so deep and eye-opening, and very academic-based. They loved learning and interacting with a college professor – Professor Ochoa – who offered us so much knowledge. 

This tour was exactly what the students needed to understand the roots of the city they live in. They were intrigued hearing about the struggles of the first families that came to Los Angeles, and impacted by the complicated history of Europeans and what happened to native and Latino folks. Many made a profound connection to their own family roots – understanding the sacrifices their parents made, and the difficulty of coming to a new country to try to build a life where not everything is fair or accessible. 

For me, it offered a moment for self-reflection. I realized how many times I’d been to La Placita Olvera without ever thinking about the history it holds. Now when I drive by I think about all the history Professor Ochoa shared with us during the tour.  

The tour has even impacted other students in our school. This course has now become so popular that every kid wants to take my class in the future!

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Jose Llamas and his students smile for a group photo on the field trip.

How has LAFC impacted the way you work with kids? 

LAFC is more than a professional sports team. They’ve shown that they’re committed to the community and to making an impact by empowering our youth. The opportunities that LAFC takes the time to provide make a big difference: they allow me to inspire the kids and keep them motivated. It's especially meaningful because LAFC is just down the street from our school, and so many of the students are big fans. 

This tour allowed me to share a beautiful moment with my students, where we all got to learn about LA’s history together. And LAFC even took the time to host us for an amazing experience at BMO Stadium. 

What role does LAFC play in your personal or professional life?

LAFC is a part of me. I’m a season ticket holder and truly embrace being a fan in both my personal and professional life. I enjoy the scene, ambiance, and good memories it brings to me and my family. Having all of this LAFC memorabilia in my classroom brings me closer to my students.

I’ve always seen the opportunities and resources given to fans that make a difference, like holding the flag on the field. But experiencing an academic tour with LAFC changed everything. I don’t see them as just a sports team anymore: now I see the work and effort that goes into making a positive impact in the community, beyond the pitch.

LAFC Foundation Highlights

Bresee Youth Leadership Program Alumni Panel

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Members of the Bresee girls youth team pose with their coach for a photo with the MLS Cup.
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Members of the Bresee boys youth team compete in the Bresee Youth Futsal league.

BMO and the LAFC Foundation are thrilled to sponsor Bresee's Girls and Boys Youth Futsal League. The first game of the season kicked off on Saturday, September 30, which included opening remarks from Bresee’s Athletic Lead, Bobby Kelly, food from Nay’s Tacos, and a chance to take photos with the MLS Cup. BMO also provided soccer balls to each participant to celebrate the start of the league.

Nicks Kids

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The Nicks Kids group, Kellyn Acosta, LAFC players, and LAFC Lead Broadcaster, Max Bretos all smile for a group photo at the unveiling celebration of the renovated pitch.
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Players do warm-up exercises ahead of practice on the newly renovated pitch.

In celebration of the Campeones Cup being held at BMO Stadium, the Kellyn Acosta Foundation and LAFC Foundation partnered with MLS to complete an exciting community impact project: renovating Nicks Kids’ old soccer field. The updated pitch will benefit 100 youth every week in the underserved neighborhood of Watts through programming from Nicks Kids Soccer.

On September 25 we came together to celebrate the unveiling of the new turf field. Nicks Kids participants had an opportunity to speak with Kellyn Acosta before warm-up exercises kicked off their first practice session on the pitch!

Capitanes Del Futuro 

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Six YLP Leaders pose for a photo on the pitch after shadowing LAFC staff and watching a home match.
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An LAFC staff member chats with a student as they overlook the stadium.

The October 1 Capitanes Del Futuro event offered Bresee YLP Youth Leaders hands-on experience with a career in sports. The students enjoyed shadowing LAFC employees, witnessing first-hand how the staff ensures success at every home match. Toward the end of the match, LAFC player Eddie Segura met with the leaders to answer questions and share words of encouragement and motivation.

The youth leaders brought passion and enthusiasm to the day, taking the initiative and asking lots of thoughtful questions!

Falcon Scholars Launch event 

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Principal Peyatt and students at Figueroa St. Elementary School pose for a group photo alongside LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy, midfielder Danny Crisostomo, Vice President of Partnership Marketing, Alex Truitt, University of Phoenix Provost, John Woods, and Falconer Jason Miknuk.
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Students raise their hands during a Q&A with LAFC players.

University of Phoenix and LAFC are excited to kick off the 2023-2024 Falcon Scholars Program!

On September 13, LAFC midfielder Danny Crisostomo, goalkeeper John McCarthy, and Falconer Jason Miknuk met with students at Figueroa St. Elementary School. The players participated in an educational Falcon presentation and spoke about how they’ve used science on the field through their journeys as professional soccer players.

A Million Miles Away: Movie Screening and Q&A with José Hernández 

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YLP leaders surround José Hernández for a group photo in the theater.
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José Hernández answers the students’ questions before the movie starts.

On September 11, Bresee YLP Leaders attended a private early screening of the new film A Million Miles Away – the amazing true story of José Hernández, a migrant worker who followed his dreams to become an astronaut despite a dozen rejection letters from NASA. 

José Hernández was there in person to answer questions and share a few words of wisdom, inspiring our youth leaders to work hard to reach their dreams!

Thank You

Thank you to all who support our team’s critical social impact work. To date, we’ve had the privilege to positively impact over 30,000 underserved youth in the Los Angeles area. We are excited to watch this number grow exponentially in the years to come – and we couldn’t do any of it without you.  

We look forward to keeping you updated with our Force for Good Friday newsletters. In the meantime, follow along on our Instagram, @lafcfoundation!

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