VW Teams Up With U.S. Soccer for SheChampions Program
Volkswagen has been working with U.S. Soccer for quite some time now, naming superstar Alex Morgan as a brand ambassador and surprising a young team’s practice with a surprise visit from legend Mia Hamm. Its most recent partnership with the sports organization comes in the form of the SheChampions Coaching Mentorship Program.
What is SheChampions?
Rather than focusing solely on future players, the SheChampions Coaching Mentorship Program aims to help advance the careers of female coaches in the soccer world. The organization pairs candidates in Pro and “A” License coaching courses with a more experienced mentor to assist them. This initiative was developed by former U.S. Women’s National Team coach Jill Ellis and aligns with the SheBelieves movement of inspiring young girls to follow their sports dreams.
How is Volkswagen helping?
As part of its partnership with U.S. Soccer, VW will be donating $150,000 over the next two years to the Jill Ellis Scholarship Fund. The scholarship provides financial aid for 50 percent of tuition for all candidates that are accepted into the SheChampions program. Ultimately, this will help U.S. Soccer achieve its goal of increasing the number of elite professional female coaches two-fold by 2024.
“In any coaching journey, mentorship and having positive and powerful role models are vitally important to one’s growth on and off the field,” said Erica Dambach, Head Coach of Penn State Women’s Soccer. “We all know that learning is a lifelong process, and while we as mentors take great pride in working with the mentees, we know that we are becoming better coaches in the process as well. For U.S. Soccer to institute a program like this, and with the tremendous support of Volkswagen, I know this will reap benefits for female coaches and players for years to come.”
More Giving Back: See what the Volkswagen College Grad Program provides
On top of the monetary donation, Volkswagen is planning on releasing a SheChampions video series to showcase the mentor and mentee stories and help spread awareness about diversity in coaching. The automaker is also expected to participate in the annual SheChampions event, which will be virtual to help protect all attendees.