When it comes to access to professional opportunities there are nowhere near enough opportunities for students from historically underserved areas to help them break the cycle of social and economic inequality. So much more can be done to level the playing field.
That’s why Angel City Football Club has teamed up with Birdies, a female-founded, direct-to-consumer footwear brand committed to serving as a champion for all women, to launch The SOAR Internship Program for high school students across Los Angeles. Together we are allocating 10% of the value of their sponsorship to put into action our deeply-held belief that with the right support system, women can go everywhere.
To launch the program, we have collaborated with the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), a charter school management system that supports underserved communities and aims to improve outcomes and achievements for Black and Latino/Hispanic students.
For our pilot SOAR Internship Program this summer, ACFC is working with ICEF to select three students to learn and contribute alongside the ACFC and Birdies teams. These salaried positions will give students exposure to corporate workplaces, leadership guidance, and funds to keep moving forward academically. The program also grants these students first-hand access to key leaders, everyday movers, employees and projects at both organizations.
The ACFC and Birdies teams are dedicated to providing girls access to experiences and resources not typically available in disadvantaged communities. Internship participants will also be outfitted with professional business attire, including Birdies shoes. Project-based, practical workplace interactions and hands-on experience will help empower students to envision a future for themselves beyond their current circumstances.
This one-of-a-kind paid internship, unique in the greater Los Angeles area, will give high school students opportunities to discover interests and uncover personal strengths while working alongside organization leaders who can nurture and encourage their skills and talents. The first internship cohort will work with ACFC & Birdies staff to learn business, marketing, and project management skills they can apply to their academics and future careers. Each student will also work on a personal project throughout the six-week program. At the end of the experience, the interns will have the opportunity to present their work at the Birdies flagship store during an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco.
In addition, each intern will be awarded a $3,000 scholarship to help them pursue their college education. ACFC and Birdies will incorporate ongoing touchpoints and mentorship beyond the program for years to come, reinforcing professional pathways for multiple generations of students. The partnership between ACFC and Birdies is centered on elevating women and helping girls and young women achieve their dreams. We want to invest in every individual for the long haul, firmly believing that these young women will become future leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers who will make a great impact in the greater LA community and beyond.