Last night at the ESPY’s, ESPN announced City in the Community (CITC) Young Leader, Chelsea Quito, as one of only a select few people nationwide to receive the 2020 Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award for her humanitarian efforts with New York City Football Club (NYCFC).
ESPN selected Chelsea because of her track record of strong leadership and years of service with NYCFC using soccer to uplift her local community and bring people together. For her achievements, Chelsea will receive a one-time college scholarship.
The Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award celebrates the legendary sports icon's commitment to leadership and service, and honors high school and college-aged students who, like Billie Jean King, use sports to improve their communities. Honorees will either receive a one-time college scholarship or direct a grant to an eligible nonprofit aligned with their work.
Paul Jeffries, CITC Executive Director & Board Member, commented on Chelsea’s accomplishments:
“We have so many talented young people in our youth programs and are tremendously proud of Chelsea for her leadership. This award is well deserved. Chelsea embodies our vision at NYCFC to empower better lives through soccer. Chelsea has directly improved the lifepaths of so many of the kids she works with.
“Unfortunately, Chelsea had to leave school due to finances, but we are inspired that she is being recognized for using the force of sports to make a difference in her community – and in her own life. Now, more than ever, we need young leaders like Chelsea doing important localized work within the Bronx and throughout NYC communities.”
Chelsea is a first-generation Ecuadorian American residing in the South Bronx, the poorest Congressional District in the United States. Chelsea paved a path forward by joining NYCFC and quickly became a member of the Foundation’s Youth Leadership and Enterprise Program.
Among her many workstreams, Chelsea leads: a five-week summer program in underserved communities; a weekly program for teens focusing on social topics including diversity and inclusion, healthy lifestyles, safety awareness and self-identity; Young Leader Training for 40 local youth leaders; and professional development and volunteer opportunities for high school youth. She also helped create a podcast studio in the Bronx and kick off the Soccer Bloc podcast which features young leaders discussing the role of soccer in society. In recent months, in response to the impact COVID-19 has had on youth in her community, Chelsea is helping to design a virtual summer program for New York City youth.
Additional information on the City in the Community can be found at www.nycfc.com/community.