Project GOAL Co-Founders: (left to right) Peter Whealton, Javier Centano and Darius Shirzadi
Founded in 2004, Project GOAL (Greater Opportunity for Athletes to Learn) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization inspiring academic achievement through the passion and power of soccer. As a coeducational after school initiative, Rhode Island middle school youth receive the academic enrichment necessary to achieve and exceed grade level proficiency while building a foundation of social responsibility, teamwork and collaboration in the classrooms and on the field through the reward of soccer training.
Project GOAL's mission is to provide a 100% free coeducational program affording every student the opportunity for educational support while being a part of a sports team despite obstacles pertaining to financial constraints, cultural background, language barriers and a lack of transportation.
90 minutes of academic enrichment earns 90 minutes of soccer training.
Project GOAL meets twice a week for 3-hour sessions with students receiving 90 minutes of classroom instruction focusing on individualized goal setting and whole group instruction. With accountability and responsibility as a program focus, students working towards academic goals and making responsible and conscious decisions and being supportive community members both during the program and within their home schools are rewarded with 90 minutes of soccer training, teamwork and gameplay immediately following the classroom session.
Focus on Higher Education
With a push for academic success and continued support in the public school sector, the program also encourages and aids students in applying to the private sector with SSAT preparation and enrollment, application and financial aid completion assistance, and interviewing skills. Currently 64 students been accepted into local private institutions with adequate financial aid awarded.
Proudly for students attending our programs over the years, Project GOAL maintains a 96% high school graduation rate with 90% receiving going on to college.
Commitment and Dedication
Project GOAL, students and their families enter a contractual agreement of collaboration and commitment for a successful program year. Classroom teachers communicate
with students’ schools and teachers in order to track and monitor grades, behaviors and bridge connections between home and school. Student / teacher ratios are kept low to guarantee each student receives individualized academic focus.
All students are provided, academic enrichment, transportation, soccer training, classroom and soccer supplies, uniforms and snacks with no charge to families and without bias or proof of a family's need.
Project GOAL is a community partner program with the Central Falls School District and 21st Century SCOPE program utilizing classroom and gym space at Calcutt Middle School for the Fall and Winter sessions of our academic year.
Moses Brown, Wheeler and Brown University provide classroom and field space during our Spring and Summer sessions.
Area Colleges and Universities
In collaboration with Rhode Island College's Education Masters Candidate's program, annually select students receive reading and writing enrichment during the Fall and Winter sessions with literacy evaluations provided for each student successfully completing the program.
Project GOAL also welcomes and works with area universities and colleges, such as Brown University, Providence College, and Bryant University, to provide students with positive role models working with students on individual academic goals, assisting in coaching during soccer and ultimately providing mentorship and outside connections with similar interests and ambitions.
Project GOAL is a special member of Soccer Rhode Island as the leading voice for soccer for social change issues for youth playing soccer in the state.
As an incentive for working hard both in the classroom and on the field, students are given the opportunity to work with professional players, compete in tournaments, participate in clinics and attend games as special field trips.
The New England Revolution annually hosts soccer clinics and provides the students opportunities to attend season home games at Gillette Stadium, in addition to providing equipment and support for our annual fundraising efforts.
Project GOAL is one of only six North American organizations supported by FIFA’s Football for Hope Programme and we are a North American member representative of the streetfootballworld Network based in Berlin, Germany.
Select high school students proving academic success and commitment are given the opportunity for on the job training as a student-coach, including NSCAA coaching licenses and are given extra responsibilities as classroom monitors in the program.