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Brownell Visits Nicaragua with Soccer Without Borders

Feb. 27, 2013

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EASTON, Pa.Nicole Brownell, a senior on the Lafayette women’s soccer team, traveled to Granada, Nicaragua prior to the start of the spring semester and volunteered with a non-profit organization, Soccer Without Borders.

Soccer Without Borders’ mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change, providing under-served youth a toolkit to overcome obstacles to growth, inclusion and personal success. 
Brownell spent eight days in Nicaragua, working with underprivileged young girls and served as a role model by implementing positive goals and helping to teach life skills. She was one of a small group of student-athletes from different colleges and universities across the nation to volunteer for the program and worked primarily with girls between the ages of six to nine years old.

“We immersed ourselves in their culture, Brownell said. “There was no air conditioning and every meal was rice and beans, but everyone was so nice to be around and welcoming.”

Each day Brownell coached soccer training sessions in the morning and then mentored the girls in character improving activities focusing on teamwork and confidence building. Soccer equipment was also delivered to the children as part of the program.

“Seeing soccer used as something that can help people gain confidence and the passion they had for the sport was unbelievable,” Brownell added. “They loved it, and never took anything for granted.”

Brownell, who wants to work as a nurse practitioner, is set to graduate in May with a degree in Neuroscience and plans to continue working with Soccer Without Borders in the future.