Today we’d like to introduce you to Leon Abravanel.
Leon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Juggle the World is a nonprofit organization that uses the game of soccer to inspire academic achievement and healthy lifestyle.
We manage an elite soccer club that competes in the highest level of youth soccer competition in Southern California.
Our program participants are required to participate in our Academic Accountability Program in order to stay active with our club.
We do not subscribe to the inhibiting pay-to-play club model. Instead, our members are required to volunteer for 100 hours annually in the Compton & Watts communities.
There is a large disparity in the United States between young athletes with access to resources and those without. This disparity creates an unfair playing field in fostering the personal, athletic and academic growth of our nation’s youth. Our communities do their best to support each other, both locally and foreign, but the unfortunate reality is that some communities lack the resources to optimally promote the well-being of their members. Juggle the World is looking to change that, starting with the community of Compton, CA.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has never been smooth — there is a large demand for sports organizations like ours in underserved communities, but there are limited resources and a lack of true organization. In addition, there are so many “charities” in which we have to compete for donations and grants. The kids ultimately suffer.
On the other side, the kids in the community love soccer and want a better future for themselves, so their buy in of academics and soccer is relatively simple. The good outweighs the bad.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Juggle The World story. Tell us more about the business.
Use soccer as a vehicle to get inner city youth off of the streets and into college. We do this through a competitive soccer club, that plays against teams from Orange County and LA — in the club we provide academic support, leadership training, help older players with college planning and applications, teach our players how to coach so they give back to their community, and how to referee so they can use the game of soccer to make money now and in the future.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is relative – we create our own luck. the environment we work in (Compton/Watts) is unforgiving. We are lucky to have our Director of Coaching – Anthony Lawson (played at UCLA), our Program Director Megan Ramos who grew up in Compton and used the game of soccer to go to college — now she is back in LA helping her community, Dr. Gregory Robinson our Grant Manager and advisers, our board: Steve Sampson (former US Men’s National Team Head coach and LA Galaxy head coach), Jeff Walsh who is the Controller of Citi Group, Rob Wynner Attorney who has donated a ton of time to our program.
We are still unlucky with finding sustainable funding, with finding ample safe playing space (Magic Johnson park would be ideal, but it is unsafe and we can’t get anyone to give us a permit without charging us an arm and a leg), with trusting our environment and having the city of Compton/LA help our cause — none of these aspects are “lucky” — seems like the city of LA, the LAFC, the city council don’t care about our mission…not backed by a famous celebrity or some BS like that.
- Address: 1974 Piute Street
- Website: www.juggletheworld.org
- Phone: 5302089886
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: juggletheworld
- Facebook: juggeltheworld
Juggle The World