How a Teen’s Soccer Initiative Is Uplifting Migrant Youth

While thousands of migrant families arriving in New York City continue to face hurdles, 16-year-old Talya Landesberg is creating a space where migrant kids can just be kids. 

“I started hearing about the increasing number of migrant families who are living in shelters in New York,” Landesberg said. “And when I was thinking about how I could help, I thought about soccer, which is the sport I love.”

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Through a connection with the local non-profit Artists-Athletes-Activists, she started the A3FC soccer program in January. It now serves over 50 migrant children from ages 8 to 14. In addition, families are offered free meals, uniforms and transportation to the soccer field, creating a space parents say is positively impacting their children.

“It is an escape for them,” said Power Malu, founder of Artists-Athletes-Activists. “And it’s an opportunity for them to feel like they belong.”