Street Soccer USA Lady Salamanders Initiative
Like the Salamander, which can thrive and grow in even the harshest of conditions, the women of Street Soccer USA have been able to thrive thanks to the support of Shelia Johnson.
Ms. Johnson sponsored the launch of the women's initiative, to ensure that the benefits of sports for social change extended to women and girls.
Over the years, as SSUSA grew the participation of women decreased. The Salamander initiative carves out a space specifically for women. Over the next year, SSUSA is recruiting advocates and partners to help the Salamander double in size.
Ms. Johnson named the program the Salamander because it is symbolic of growth, rebirth, renewal and transformation. It tells us that no matter the struggles we face in life, there is always the ability to find courage and adapt to a new understanding of one's purpose. It is a message that there is never loss, only growth and the potential to accept the changes in our lives, and grow from them.
By providing life and job skills through the power of soccer, 75% of women in Street Soccer USA programs find housing, gain employment or enroll in school within two years of the joining.
The Lady Salamander Initiative is Street Soccer USA goal to expand its women's program into all 20 of its current cities. We believe that with our success rate, we can truly make a difference in the lives of women across the country.
Currently the Salamanders exist in Charlotte, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Minneapolis.