Somos Timbers helps open doors for Future Hispanic Leaders/Poder Joven with adidas America
Sometimes, all it takes is a door opening to illuminate a new path.
Last week, Hosford Middle School students visited adidas' North American headquarters in conjunction with Future Hispanic Leaders/Poder Joven and Somos Timbers, the Portland Timbers' Hispanic outreach program to showcase various careers within the sports industry.
Future Hispanic Leaders, an after-school program at Hosford Middle School, helps students realize their opportunities as bilingual, bicultural citizens.
"Future Hispanic Leaders teaches our kids to make high school count," said teacher Sofia Segurola Calderon. "We prepare them in middle school by showing them the world and helping them recognize their gifts and talents. We want to help them academically, but also give them life skills to be successful.”
Touring the adidas Village in North Portland showed the students how to be involved in the sports industry in a way outside of the singular dream of only being a pro athlete. The students saw models of new athletic equipment, learned about the company’s history and were shown new technology adidas is utlizing to gain increased knowledge about soccer and each individual player.
“Today showed us what adidas is all about," said student Justus Ruggiero-Boune. "It shows us different jobs we could have in the community. I still want to be an MLS player for the Timbers, but there are definitely a lot of job options here.”
Senior marketing asset manager Jeff McAllister talked to the students about the different departments within adidas. “We try to be involved in the community and use the power of our brand to get these groups involved - not just in playing sports, but in fields such as design, marketing or research,” he said. “We have a commitment to youth and development. It’s great to see these kids here.”
Though challenges remain for many Hispanic students--more than 50% don't graduate high school--Segurola Calderon believes events such as this can be a stepping stone.
"My goal is get them to graduate from high school and go on to the college of their dreams," she said "We want to open their hearts and minds and show them what their futures can be like. They are our futures.”