A non-profit connecting girls playing soccer in low-income areas of the United States with professionals;  building ambition and increasing opportunity in and out of sport.

 

Hidden Gems is a corporation (currently in the application process to become a registered 501c(3) nonprofit) founded by professional soccer player Stephanie McCaffrey, a member of the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL. The goal of Hidden Gems is to use the power of teamwork and soccer as an equalizer and to increase young girls’ perceptions of their ability on and off the field. 

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READ: HIDDEN GEMS ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICA SCORES CHICAGO

 

What we do:

We're built on partnerships that connects the NWSL with youth programs in underserved communities: 

As a brand new organization started by a full-time professional athlete, we lack the infrastructure, and the time, to undertake the "on the ground" aspect of running soccer programs for girls in low-income areas. We are therefore reliant on partnering organizations and programs with established infrastructure in place that can be bolstered with Hidden Gems financial and motivational support.

Our role in solving the motivational and accessibility problems within girls soccer in low-income areas will be adding our strengths to these existing organizations to augment their impact.  These strengths include: 1) direct, unabridged access to the highest level of our sport through the  NWSL coaches we send out to our partnering programs 2) instilling belief that reaching the highest level of sport is possible for girls by connecting the "top" (professional soccer) with the "bottom" (youth soccer in statistically inhibited socioeconomic urban-areas)

How our partnerships work:

 In our first few months, Hidden Gems will be running a pilot program  with the professional team of our founder, the Chicago Red Stars. Hidden Gems will hire players from the Red Stars organization to coach girls within existing non-profit after-school programs in urban areas of Chicago. Each player will be matched with a specific school to work with on a consistent basis over the period of a couple months, to help build relationships with the young players.

We believe consistent access to professional players, as opposed to just holding one-off skills clinics, will allow these relationships to foster ambition and other high-impact attributes within Hidden Gems players. We want young girls in youth soccer who have significantly more obstacles in front of them than those who come from suburban, auspicious communities to feel like their dreams can become a reality. Putting women who are living their athletic dreams right in front of them will help cultivate that self-belief.