Why We Do It
CASEProject believes that we have the responsibility to help solve social and environmental problems in order to help all of humanity. We believe in inspiring and empowering youth to help bring positive change to themselves and their communities.
While there are many countries and communities in need of support, CASEProject has specifically chosen El Salvador as its primary target area. El Salvador has fallen victim to some of the world’s highest levels of poverty. Like many regions plagued by lack of resources, gangs and violence flourish while educational systems suffer. The children of El Salvador are continually exposed to these pressures with minimal sustainable support. Without alternatives to gangs and with limited access to adequate resources, youth there have little choice but to repeat cycles of violence and poverty. CASEProject was created to address these issues — providing hope, training, and support to at-risk Salvadoreno youth and their communities — through the use of sports and education.
What We Do
The CASEProject model is a three-pronged approach to creating better access to sports and education. We improve school infrastructure, conduct hybrid sports and education camps, and bolster community involvement. We fund, direct and implement programs where they are most needed.
School Infrastructure Improvements
Our school infrastructure improvement projects include school rebuilds/beautifications, multi-purpose sports facilities construction, and donations of school supplies and sports equipment.
Sports and Education Camps
Each time CASEProject rebuilds a school we run a hybrid sports and education camp for the students of that particular site. The sports portion of the camps includes skill development in American football and basketball, as well as lessons on health, wellness and teamwork amongst peers. The education portion of the camps address both academic concerns and social-emotional well-being. Academically, CASEProject focuses on supporting students in their reading and math development through the use of sports based concepts and curriculum. The social-emotional portion focuses on developing self-awareness and self-management through writing, art, and practice of regulation strategies.
Community Involvement Program
Our community involvement and ownership program engages parents/guardians of the students and other surrounding community members to be part of the school rebuild/beautification process. In addition, CASEProject engages with community members and agencies to garner continued support for the students and school buildings that have been improved.
Why CASEProject Works
CASEProject has already proven to be successful by completing two projects since February of 2014. The success of these projects and future projects can be attributed to three main factors.
First, CASEProject asks, “What does your community need?” and then collaboratively works with other community members and agencies to meet the specific identified needs of that school and region. Our projects stem from what the students and community members think is most beneficial for them; then we help secure necessary resources, engaging our core constituency throughout the entire process. Our ultimate goal is that each project operates under the “for the community, by the community” framework.
Second, the members of CASEProject are eclectic with many different talents and interests. Our six founding members are all college graduates and have extensive experience in areas such as: social justice, environmental advocacy, architecture, educational psychology, and sports. All members have played collegiate sports and some CASEProject members have experience with professional football in the NFL, Arena League and European League. In addition, many of CASEProject’s members have coached, mentored and tutored inner-city youth in the United States. Our experiences in these areas have given us a breadth and depth of educational, community, and sports knowledge that is reflected in our well-organized projects.
Lastly, our hybrid sports and education camps are a unique approach to supporting children holistically. We understand that sports can be fun and beneficial; however, we also know that sports can be used as a tool to help students be more engaged in school and have a better understanding of themselves. Therefore, CASEProject camps emphasize teaching academic concepts through sports as well as explicitly teaching self-awareness and self-management strategies that are not only useful in sports, but also in building resiliency in facing the pressures of gangs, violence and poverty.
Where We Are Headed
CASEProject has identified El Salvador as its first target area to help alleviate a lack of resources for youth and their communities. We plan to deepen our efforts there, year by year. As we demonstrate success in El Salvador, we also plan to expand our reach to communities around the world with similar need.
Our long term goal is to create sustainable solutions, through sports and education, which continually address problems of violence, poverty, academics, and environmental issues. Therefore, we will continue to implement the CASEProject model at future schools as well as explore and develop initiatives like after school mentorship programs, environmental education, and the mobilization of sports teams and sports leagues.
• Identify communities with infrastructural needs and collaborate with community leaders for specific improvements
• Enact sports and education camps for students and youth in those communities
• Facilitate collaboration with outside stakeholders in order for students to participate in community based problem-solving projects
• Provide needed resources for communities to continue programs and resource development
• Continued implementation of CASEProject model at future schools
• Increase education completion rates
• Create more employable youth
• Create after school mentorship programs that emphasize sports, community based problem solving projects and reinforce academic curriculum that students are learning in their classrooms
• Provide a safe and supportive environment for students to develop socially, emotionally, academically and professionally.