"The little things that come your way can be the beginning of something big. Be focused, never give up and always make sure you are working harder than the person ahead of you."

Few Right to Dream graduates have embraced the commitment to giving back to others more so than Nathaniel Bekoe. After graduating from Fordham University in 2014, Nat joined the outreach team at New York City FC, commonly known as 'City in the Community' (CITC) which falls under the global CITC Foundation.

As program coordinator, Nat oversees a range of community and football based activities that happen across the five boroughs of New York City. The free soccer programs combine sport with education around health, crime prevention, leadership and mentoring for over 4000 young people each week.

Nat is proud of the work he does and cites Right to Dream as a big influence on his chosen career path: "From very early on at Right to Dream, we were taught the importance of passing the opportunities we were fortunate to have on to others. Combining football, the sport I love with this kind of work is the perfect fit for me. It's really rewarding."

Nat Bekoe in a New York School

Nat manages teams of coaches and volunteers working in over 20 New York schools. The programs not only include soccer training but also mentoring and academic support to ensure young people stay in school and take education seriously.

"I work directly with schools and community organizations to get our soccer programs in the community and to make sure that they are successful by the end of each year."

Nat and his team were recently recognised by ESPN when New York City FC were nominated for the TV network's Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award. He sees a lot of parallels in what he does now with his early years spent at Right to Dream: "Using the power of football to help young people get an education and become leaders is exactly what Right to Dream did for me. To bring this full circle is really special."

 

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