Bringing Teens Off The Streets And Onto The Soccer Field | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Bringing Teens Off The Streets And Onto The Soccer Field

Play associated audio

By Asma Khalid

A gang taskforce officer in Northern Virginia is trying to get teens out of gangs, off the streets, and onto the soccer field.

Tito Vilchez is a native Arlingtonian. He grew up in Section 8 housing. He says it was rough, but soccer kept him out of trouble.

"Every weekend or every month I looked forward to the games and that increased my self-esteem, even though I was approached by drug dealers, I was approached to commit crimes," says Vilchez.

Now, Vilchez works with Arlington County. And he’s creating a series of soccer tournaments for teens either in gangs or at risk of joining a gang.

Vilchez is coaching Eduardo Cordova here at the Northern Virginia Family Services soccer tournament. Cordova says soccer keeps him busy.

"It keeps you out of trouble, we can say. Cause instead of being in the streets, you’re in the field, playing soccer. Cause that’s all I do, after school – do homework, play soccer. That’s basically my life," says Cordova.

Cordova's team wins first place. That's a stepping stone. Vilchez wants to make sure these teens succeed off the field as well.

NPR

'Passages' Author Reflects On Her Own Life Journey

Gail Sheehy is famous for her in-depth profiles of influential people, as well as her 1976 book on common adult life crises. Now she turns her eye inward, in her new memoir Daring: My Passages.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

In San Diego, A Bootcamp For Data Junkies

Natasha Balac runs a two-day boot camp out of the San Diego Supercomputer Center for people from all types of industries to learn the tools and algorithms to help them analyze data and spot patterns in their work.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.