The SBU Academy provides a pathway from middle school to high school to college to careers for South Bronx and immigrant youth. Youth compete on travel soccer teams and attend academic programming two days per week: After School Tutoring (grades 6-9) and College and SAT Prep (Grades 10-12) . Coach-mentors serve as key supports for youth and regularly follow up on academic progress and social-emotional needs. Participants attend leadership development and team building events. Services also include immigration legal services, counseling, and other family services. Youth spend at least 8 hours a week during the school year in program activities. Most participate in Summer Soccer Scholars, a full day program providing academic instruction, life skills, soccer training, and field trips out of the city over 5 weeks during the summer. In the last four years, 100% of participating seniors have graduated high school in six years and 94% have matriculated to college.
SBU Academy youth must meet the following requirements. Youth who do not meet these requirements may be accepted under special circumstances only. Youth must:
1. Live within the program area of the Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights, or Inwood.
2. Demonstrate financial need. Generally, family income must be at or below 2.5 times the poverty level.
3. Demonstrate a programmatic need.
4. Be enrolled in a K-12 school (or in the process of enrolling) and is not a senior. (Due to the limited time period to work with students, we accept rising seniors only in limited cases.)
5. Be able to commit to the full SBU Academy program (soccer, academics, leadership).
Additionally, there must be space on the applicable soccer team roster and in the applicable grade cohort.
Parents and youth inquiring about joining the SBU Academy and a travel soccer team must request a tryout on the soccer field, by filling out the Tryout Form. Once a tryout is scheduled, youth must bring a copy of their most recent school report card and transcript and a copy of their birth certificate or passport to the tryout, as well as a completed SBU Academy Application Form. In addition to the field tryout, students must complete a one month trial period by attending SBU Academy academic programming before officially being placed on a roster.