Our Mission: to help students from low-income Austin communities thrive in high school and beyond
Our Vision: all students have the skills and community of support they need to find personal and academic success in the 21st Century
What We Believe
All teens have their own unique strengths that should be lifted up.
Out-of-school time is just as important for education as in-school time.
Soccer creates a safe, fun, and welcoming environment for teens to learn and grow together.
With a strong sense of self and a team of support around them, all teens can be unstoppable.
How It Works
Drawing on research in achievement motivation, adolescent development, and prevention science, the Upper Ninety program helps teens build a foundation for success in high school and beyond.
Each training session follows the Upper Ninety curriculum, which features a signature blend of Restorative Justice Circles, Soccer, and Mindfulness Training.
We open with a Team Circle. Team Circle is based on the Restorative Justice Circle model, an indigenous approach to relationship-building and problem-solving that champions equality, justice, and empathy. Team Circle gives players the chance to connect with their teammates, talk openly about issues going on in their lives, and work through conflicts together.
Then, we PLAY. Upper Ninety soccer is soccer with social-emotional lessons baked in. Players develop their soccer skills and at the same time reflect on the complex dynamics behind successful leadership and teamwork. Players also learn to identify and manage negative emotions such as frustration and are encouraged to help one another stay on task during drills and games.
We finish with a MINDFUL CLOSE. The Mindful Close gives players a chance to learn a new mindfulness skill each week, such as guided breathing. We practice the skill together so players can take it with them into the home, the classroom, or anywhere they need to practice self-calming and focus.