that aims to combat high dropout rates amongst Hispanic students
CHESTER, Pa. (October 20, 2020) – Philadelphia Union, in partnership with Southern New Hampshire University and Major League Soccer, hosted their third annual Rompe Las Barreras (Breakthrough the Barriers) job shadowing program for Hispanic high school students last week. SNHU, a leader in online higher education, began the campaign three years ago in hopes of positively impacting the lives of Hispanics in MLS club markets.
Done virtually this year with students from Philadelphia’s Northeast High School, the program ties in education and real-life experience from Philadelphia Union staff. The opportunity gives students a unique insiders-look as to how an MLS club is run as well as an understanding of different career pathways and opportunities that are available to them beyond graduation.
“We are so proud to partner with SNHU to introduce students to career paths through our passionate staff and players here at the Philadelphia Union,” said Philadelphia Union’s Jean-Paul Dardenne, Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships. “The Union is focused on aligning with partners, like SNHU, who are committed to making an impact in our community and that is what we were able to accomplish with this event.”
“With Southern New Hampshire University helping MLS players and staff members achieve their career goals through online education, we felt it was it was more important than ever to provide the job shadowing experience virtually to high school students in 2020,” said Carly Samp, Account Manager, Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing (SNHU Representative). “While we weren't able to go to the Union's offices physically as we typically would, the students really benefited from the online experience. On behalf of SNHU, we thank the Philadelphia Union for their partnership on this program.”
“The Union staff's presentation engaged the students and showed them different paths they can take into the business of sports,” said Matt Courtin, Math Teacher, Northeast High School. “Several students shared how meaningful it was to take part in this event and how interesting they found the different roles in a professional sports franchise. On behalf of the faculty and staff at Northeast, we thank SNHU and the Union for this excellent opportunity.”
The students heard from representatives from various departments at the Union including marketing, ticketing, community relations, and corporate partnerships. The Union representatives hosted interactive Q&A sessions with the students, spoke about their journey to their current roles, and explained how their respective departments are run.
The high schoolers also got a chance to speak with Union defender, Mark McKenzie. McKenzie, often vocal about the importance of education, is currently enrolled in SNHU working towards his bachelor’s degree while playing full-time as the club’s starting central defender.
Rompe Las Barreras’ main objective is to combat the high dropout rates among Hispanic students. The program aims to provide access for Hispanic high school students to the proper pathways and insights into graduating and pursuing fulfilling careers.