Kaitlin Swarts, M.Ed., Founder & CEO
Kaitlin has loved soccer since the moment she scored her very first goal at age five. She's played with the Lonestar Soccer Club, St. Stephen's Soccer Academy, Pomona College Women's Team, and leagues in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. As a coach, Kaitlin has trained players ranging from competitive club athletes to first-time adult players. After years of teaching and working in New York as a consultant for nonprofits, Kaitlin decided to connect her skills with her passion for the game. She earned her master's in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she focused on using sports to help students transition from middle school to high school. With the help of a team of professors and peers, Kaitlin built and tested the Upper Ninety curriculum with the goal of launching the program in her hometown of Austin, Texas. Kaitlin is trained in Restorative Justice and is the recipient of the Harvard Leadership in Education Award and the Harvard Faculty Tribute Award.
Jordan Johnson, M.Ed., Program Manager
A center midfielder for life, Jordan has a great passion for soccer, playing in several leagues and clubs over the years in her hometown of Farmington, New Mexico. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology. Recently, Jordan earned a Masters of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a concentration on building culturally responsive, mental health-based interventions and systems of support for Indigenous youth. While at Harvard, Jordan completed a year-long internship where she practiced Restorative Justice and Conflict Resolution with students and various members of Cambridge Public Schools and other affiliated community organizations. Jordan currently works with College Forward, an AmeriCorps program dedicated to students' access, success, and completion of college. She is a proud member of the Navajo Nation with a love for her family, her culture, and the land that raised her.
Pepe Rangel, Lead Coach
Pepe was born and raised in Chico, CA. At age 15, he and his family decided to make the move to Austin, Texas. In Austin, Pepe played for East Austin SC, before joining Lonestar SC. He later accepted an athletic scholarship to play D1 soccer at Campbell University, in Buies Creek, NC. where he earned his B.S. in Sport Management. Pepe then returned to the Lone Star State, where he is currently coaching and mentoring students at Bastrop ISD. Having played soccer his whole life, Pepe continues to be active in the soccer community, playing on multiple teams throughout the Austin area.
Giovanni Andraca, Program Intern
Originally from Mexico City, Giovanni moved to Austin when he was in middle school. After graduating from high school, he became the first person in his family to enroll in post-secondary education, earning an associate's degree in Social Work before enrolling in the University of Texas. Giovanni is currently a senior at UT majoring in Physical Culture and Sports. Giovanni also works as a student manager for the University of Texas Women's Soccer Team. In addition to playing in numerous leagues around Austin, Giovanni has coached at Super Soccer Stars and the University of Texas Soccer Camps.
Andrea Velgis, Communications Intern
Raised in El Paso, Texas, Andrea's roots lie at the border and in a Mexican family where community is the most important thing. She is currently a senior Advertising major at The University of Texas at Austin after transferring from UT San Antonio after freshman year. Her focus is on creative strategy and building advertising campaigns by bridging the creative aspect with methods more likely to reach the target audience. Andrea previously interned at Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing as the Interactive Producer Intern where the focus is on bilingual public service announcements such as the Drive Clean Texas campaign and Don't Drink and Drive. Andrea's goal is to use her background in advertising to help her local community. In her free time, Andrea enjoys photography and playing the guitar.
Board of Directors
Louise Hanks, LMSW
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, homegrown professional soccer player Sonny Guadarrama played as a youth for the Austin Capitals and Austin Flyers, earning Parade All-American honors in high school. With a dual U.S. / Mexican citizenship, Sonny played for both the Mexican and U.S. National Youth Teams. Scoring 13 goals in his first year at Campbell University, Sonny was the second leading freshman in the NCAA, and the 12th leading scorer overall, earning him All-American honors as a freshman. Sonny turned pro at the age of 18 with Santos Laguna of the Mexican First Division and went on to play for Monarcas, Merida, Atlante, Necaxa, and Dorados. Following a successful professional career of over a decade in Mexico, Sonny returned home to Austin, where he founded APPA Aguilas Soccer Club.