Project Combina combines scholastic pursuits with soccer
Think of it as a soccer club where the emphasis is on the scholastic, specifically getting young athletes prepared for college.
That's the idea behind Project Combina.
"It's a group of kids from throughout the city that are getting together to play," said Felipe Alberto Herrera, the founder of Project Combina. "But what we do is really insert an academic fellowship into that and also a service and volunteership service organization."
"So everything is couched within soccer and put as simply as possible but we're really teaching them the skills they'll need to get comfortable with the writing process itself and also to be able to deliver their message."
The nonprofit was created under the auspices of Progress 321, which seeks to improve the quality of life in the Borderland. Project Combina selects a group of promising players from the Borderland to create a core group of players that meet three times a year. The participants do not pay training or direct fees and the focus is on building writing skills.
"The two shared traits are always going to be soccer and they're going to be some sort of writing skill to be able to get into college, survive college or get a scholarship," said Herrera.
Herrera was born and raised in El Paso and Juarez. A life long soccer fanatic, he attended Rice University, London School of Economics and Northwestern Law. He says the program is a labor of love, but well worth the investment.
"We have a lot of different materials. it's a very rich program that goes very deep on a lot of levels," he said.
Project Combina will hold tryouts for boys and girls on August 11 and August 12.
"There's no application fee," said Herrera. "The whole program is free and we provide everything for you in exchange for your, again, you volunteership, your excellence and doing your assignments for us."