Austin FC kicked off its “AISD en Verde” program this past week with a visit from the Verde & Black playmaker Ethan Finlay. Finlay took part in a literacy advocacy assembly for 5th graders as part of a shared mission to bring opportunity and education to Central Texas Title I school students.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students here at Pillow Elementary to be able to hear conversations about how important dedication, motivation, and time investment are in order to achieve your goals,” said Pillow Elementary School principal Dinorah De la Torre, M.Ed. “Having someone like Ethan come and talk to the students is exactly the kind of positive influence that these kids need. It makes a difference.”
As part of the program, Finlay took questions from students ranging from career advice to favorite foods. Finlay also shared his personal experience of becoming a professional soccer player. Additionally, Austin FC donated books to the school library, through Austin-based Black Pearl Books, and provided an opportunity for Pillow Elementary's 5th graders to attend a match in Q2 Stadium.
“It’s really nice to have events like these because it’s something I did not have access to growing up,” said Finlay. “I wanted to share my perspective, let them know it’s okay not to have everything figured out at a young age, and to enjoy themselves. It’s fulfilling knowing that when you take part in programs like these, you give kids someone to look up.”