Cityzens Giving Young Leader spotlight: Jafaar

Cityzens Giving has teamed up with Verizon, one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services and Official Partner of Manchester City in the United States, to support youth-led community football and STEM education projects in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Verizon’s support is enabling a group of young leaders across the four cities, all identified for their passion for education and football, to become upskilled on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) topics, and in turn to inspire over 300 young people in their communities on these topics using the power of football.

Following last month’s spotlight on Rocky from Los Angeles, we turn to Philadelphia to hear the story of Young Leader Jafaar.

Jafaar’s earliest memories of football are playing with his older brothers and cousins on the streets of Baghdad, Iraq.

He moved to the US with his family when he was 12 and his passion for football led him to get involved with FC Max Myers. He soon realised the power of football to connect people and improve health and educational outcomes for young people.

Jafaar said: “Before I joined FC Max Myers, my dream was just to play soccer. But when we make that programme, we got a healthy environment, healthy community, connected community. We make everybody get connected and to know each other more, and it’s just something that I love.”

Joe Hewitt, CEO of local Cityzens Giving partner, The Sports Creative, said: “Jaafar was the first Youth Coach to sign up to FC Max Myers - our free football programme for children and youth in North East Philadelphia.

“His story has moved and inspired us all. From the war-torn streets of Baghdad to integrating as an American, Jaafar has always leaned on the power of football. The kids in our programme are from all over the world and speak many languages.

“Coach Jafaar knows how it is for them and uses football to support each of them in their decisions on and off the field.”

Jafaar and other Young Leaders from the four cities have recently completed six workshops on STEM

Stay tuned for more stories from our STEM and Football projects in the US and for more information on Verizon’s partnership with Manchester City, please visit: https://www.mancity.com/news/club/manchester-city-announces-partnership-with-verizon-63755884