The U.S. Consulate General in Recife received former women’s soccer player Erica Woda for five days of sports programming in Recife and Natal, from April 12 to 16. Erica is the founder of an NGO based in New York City called Level The Field and works at a Magnet School in the South Bronx. She conceived the vision for Level The Field based on her experience as a teacher and high-level college soccer player at Columbia University where she excelled as a soccer player and earned her degree in Political Science.
In Recife, Erica Woda put on clinics and motivational talks with teens at three community soccer programs in the Recife metro area, in conjunction with partners Decisão Rush Soccer Club and the Camaragibe municipal government, Love.Futbol in the municipality of São Lourenço, and the Dribbling Past Crack (Driblando o Crack) project in Brasília Teimosa. She also worked with the University of Pernambuco’s School of Physical Education and its Santo Amaro Project, and visited local high school, Liceu de Artes e Ofícios, which is associated with the Catholic University (UNICAP). She topped off her Recife program with a talk at the ABA bi-national center.
In Natal, she spent a morning with over 100 teens at the Dom Bosco Educational Center, followed by a talk at the World Cup Stadium, Arena das Dunas, with an audience of over 300 athletes, students, coaches and teachers. The Natal program finished with a visit to the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte’s Physical Education Program to discuss extension and community service programs.
Erica left her mark as a former student-athlete and current high school athletics director and teacher who embodies the vision of sports and education going hand in hand towards a healthy childhood and lifelong personal development.