Saving kids through sports

From left, Nico Galeano and Lorenzo Galeano in Cartagena, Colombia in 2018

Scarsdale High School sophomore Nico Galeano, along with his eighth grade brother Lorenzo, started a foundation Pa’lante, short for "para adelante" or "move forward" in Spanish. The Galeano family is from Colombia although the brothers were born and raised in New York. In 2018 they traveled to Cartagena for the first time and saw the poverty around them. When a hungry kid asked them for spare money for ice cream, they brought him into the store to buy some and his eyes lit up. At that moment they knew they wanted to help kids like him.

Nico and Lorenzo have played soccer for as long as they can remember and they thought, through soccer and the practice of sports, they could help keep kids safe, away from drugs and other dangers on the streets. They believe that with physical activity they can promote the development of discipline, teamwork and a sense of purpose.

In Soacha, a municipality 10 miles from Bogota, Colombia’s capital, 67% of the population lives in poverty, which in Colombia is defined as an annual income of a little more than $800, or $68 per month. The Pa'lante Project supports the efforts of CEPER (Centro de Perfeccionamiento), an organization that coaches soccer and promotes the physical development of kids in Soacha. Lorenzo and Nico have committed to supporting their ever-growing needs and to personally help with their coaching program at least once a year. They have been able to supply equipment for kids there but due to COVID-19, they were unable to travel to Colombia last year.

From now until June 13 they are collecting new and gently used soccer equipment for ages 6 to 15— cleats or flat shoes, shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards and balls can be dropped off at 162 Brewster Road or can be picked up.

To learn more about the Pa’lante Project, go to www.thepalanteproject.org. To contact Nico or Lorenzo, email thepalanteproject@gmail.com or call 914-529-2821. If you’d like to donate, visit https://www.thepalanteproject.org/donate.

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