World Sports United is a humanitarian outreach organization that uses the power of sports as the means to develop youth in under-resourced communities. Our nonprofit focuses on the importance of education and provides student athletes the opportunity to play at a higher level and receive a higher education. We work domestically and internationally in low income communities, providing them with educational resources, scholarships, sports equipment, technical training and growth opportunities to enhance their quality of life and opportunities to build on their future.
Our story started long ago when Mauricio and I began playing soccer at the age of five. Being from Brazil and my family from Portugal, soccer is embedded in our culture and has been for many generations.
Soccer was significantly used as a tool in our maturation and today we can trace our successes back to the sport and everything it taught us. The opportunities it presented, from life lessons such as discipline, hard work and ambition, to the forever friendships that were made, is something we will always treasure and in turn want to give the same opportunities to other children.
Today, we see many talented athletes fail to get an athletic scholarship and further their education simply due to their circumstances or lack of knowledge. This occurs predominantly in lower income communities where there is a lack of resources, an “I am trapped and college is far from reach” mentality, or when families are unable to financially support their child's college education.
As we continued to see this cycle occur, Mauricio and I made the decision three years ago to start our non-profit, World Sports United, Inc., to invest in these lower income communities and in the children who want to be first generation college graduates. Many kids and parents are unaware of the funding opportunities that are available, and with sports being one of the greatest avenues to get there, it is our goal to assist children in obtaining an athletic scholarship to achieve their dreams of going to college.
World Sports United began the WSU Scholarship Program to identify talented student-athletes that meet the WSU Scholarship standards/guidelines and award an annual scholarship based on their athletic and academic merits. The WSU Scholarship serves as a supplemental grant to cover additional tuition costs not covered under the student athletes academic and/or athletic scholarship. WSU also assists in the college identification, application, recruitment process to ensure each child is receiving the best opportunity based on their unique situation. Through the WSU Mentorship Program, our mentors work with each student-athlete every step of the way - pre-college, through all four years of their undergrad and beyond college developing them personally and professionally.
WSU also works internationally by sending college athletes, professional players and coaches to work in partnership with soccer academies in third world countries to host soccer clinics and educate children on the importance of proper training techniques, education, and leadership within their own teams. We also provide sports equipment needed, including full team jerseys, cleats and any other equipment needs to continue to spread joy and the love of soccer around the world.
WSU's Coaches and Players Abroad Program travels all over the world to remote locations to host soccer clinics run by D1 and professional coaches and players that work with each player in enhancing their skillset and provide coaches with enhanced training sessions. Our team connects with each child and provides a long-lasting friendship that carries on far beyond our visit.
Scholarship opportunities are available through the WSU Scholarship Program which affords hundreds of student athletes the opportunity to play the sport they love at a collegiate level while also funding a portion of their college tuition. The WSU Mentorship Program and College Identification/Placement Program, gives our student athletes a road map to success.
WORLD SPORTS UNITED
Founders of WSU - Mauricio and Milena Ruiz
Providing cleats to thousands of children around the world
Mauricio training JV Boys in Guatemala
WSU partners with many youth clubs across the U.S. to host sports equipment drives to help fulfill the needs of many children without cleats, shinguards or soccer balls to play the game they love. WSU collects and facilitates the shipment to ensure each community receive the donated items safely. WSU has donated over 10,000+ soccer items over the course of 3 years. See the difference you can make below.
WSU helps mentor the boys of Buena Vista Soccer Academy and work with families in the community on an annual trip to Guatemala. The Buena Vista community is home to a cycle of poverty that has often come to be associated with addiction, abuse, sexual violence and crime. Our purpose is to help support the Johnson and Leiva families who have dedicated their lives to this community for the past 10 years to mold these boys into young leaders that can break the toxic cycle and move the entire community in a new direction - towards following Jesus, loving and providing for their families, while serving one another - all through the power of soccer and their relationship with God. Find out more on the work that's being done in Buena Vista.