Taylor Washington and members of the Union front office visited Puentes de Salud last week as part of the camp’s Career Day. Members of the Community Relations and Hispanic Communications departments introduced themselves and the importance of their roles in the organization. The staff talked about the different career paths available in sports and the importance of continuing education in order to reach their goals. However, it was Washington who stole the show with his youthful energy and infectious smile. Naturally, the kids seemed to focus their attention on the professional soccer player in the room, and Taylor didn’t disappoint.
Taylor interacted with the kids by telling of his journey to the pros and was willing to answer any and every question. He even opened up about his difficulties with academics and bullies in high school. “[We] appreciated that Taylor pushed education and spoke at length about his commitment to going to college and to having his degree, pursing that in tandem with his soccer career. That is an important message for all of our kids to hear, especially those who are specifically interested in soccer” said Alexandra Wolkoff, Assistant Director of Education at Puentes.
After the Q&A sessions, Taylor invited the kids to play one of his favorite games, Head/Catch. The kids, aged 8-14, were crying with laughter throughout the game as Taylor eliminated them one by one.
“At Puentes, we are thrilled to count the Philly Union as a partner in our work to serve the city's Latino immigrant community and look forward to continuing to grow our partnership and to engaging our students and their families,” added Wolkoff.
Puentes de Salud, a health and wellness center in Philadelphia that primarily serves the Latino community, was also the beneficiary of MLS W.O.R.K.S’ Every Save Makes a Difference program, which donated $1,000 to the organization for athletic equipment.
"My time at Puentes was phenomenal. The kids were fantastic and I think what Puentes is doing is incredible. Having been an elementary education major in college, I understand the importance that the role of the community plays in the success of a child. What Puentes is doing in terms of community health and social justice for the community is so valuable. I am honored to have been a part of it, and look forward to hopefully doing more events with them in the future,” said Washington.