Kelly High School in Chicago is less than 40 miles from Waubonsie Valley – but there’s a world of difference between the two.
The students at Waubonsie got a look inside that other world when soccer coach Julie Bergstrom hosted a screening of the documentary “In The Game”. It tells the tale of Kelly’s high school girls soccer team, and the struggles that low income students face in Chicago’s South side.
The viewing brought to light the stark contrast between Waubonsie’s well-funded, much-supported girls soccer team, versus Kelly’s.
“The big difference is the field. In this movie they didn’t have a field to go to and they practice on, like they were saying, rough conditions and they didn’t even have a place to play. We just walk outside and we have it, and we don’t really realize how lucky we are to just have a field,” said Waubonsie senior and soccer player, Grace Anderson.
Three girls that were featured in the film came to the screening for a panel discussion and Producer Mary Morrissette explained the power of life skills that can come from team sports.
“How do you set a goal, how do you work towards that goal, what does it take to achieve that, and to turn to others for help,” asked Morrissette.
Bergstrom wanted her girls to understand that the idea of a team extends beyond the playing field and it was gratifying for the girls in the film to share a message that hit home.
“It makes me feel good because they hear my story, or things that I go through and they’re saying, you know, ‘I can relate to that’ or ‘I understand’ or ‘I’ve never heard somebody going through that,’ so they either learn something or can relate to something,” said Alicia Herrera, Kelly High alumna featured in “In the Game”.
These girls are some of the first in their family to set foot on a college campus and they’re currently working to save money for their education.
The girls from the film have a GoFundMe page to help cover tuition, fees and books for their return to college in January of 2016.
Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.
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