Raul Villegas

El Padrino Party supplies and Soccer Nation

Where were you born and raised?
I was Born in Mexico City and Raised in South Central LA.
What is your family heritage?
Mexican.
What is your occupation?
Self Employed El Padrino Party supplies and Soccer Nation.
How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
I co-founded with my sister a Soccer club named Soccer Nation Academy its been running for 5 years. It's a Soccer program mainly focus on low income families in Kansas City Metro area. We have worked with hundreds of families that are primarily first generation immigrant families. Competitive Soccer has a very high price tag these days. Soccer Nation helps families subsidize some of the cost thru volunteering coaches and low fees for leagues and field rentals. In our Latino community soccer is a very big part of our culture, our kids with tremendous talent are being guided with certified and licensed coaches to compete at the highest level. Hopefully one day combining good grades and Competitive soccer helping them obtain a full scholarship for an University or college.
How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
Soccer Nation Academy provides bilingual services connecting with our families in their language. We have our own indoor soccer Facility, 40,000 square foot. We usually train and have weekly meetings there.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
When I was 12 years old coming from Mexico, arriving in South central LA, I was afraid didn't know any friends, different city, a totally new language made me insecure. I vividly remember going to the park and seeing kids playing soccer and I said ''it's going to be ok'' because I knew the game and felt part of it.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Celebrate community leaders that have help in their city make it a better place.
In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
Immigration reform is needed to help families with citizen children. families can't live everyday terrified with being separated from their kids.

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