ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Seeking to increase diversity in the professional soccer industry, New Mexico United and the Somos Unidos Foundation have announced a Diversity Fellowship program that will provide new opportunities for candidates to gain experience through the club.
During a six-month intensive program, candidates will work directly with either NMU Head Coach Troy Lesesne’s coaching staff or with the club’s front office staff, learning best practices and getting hands-on experience with a professional soccer team. At the conclusion of their fellowship, each candidate will receive scholarships to continue their education, or to subsidize fees to earn a U.S. Soccer Coaching License.
The goal of the program is to eliminate key factors – including access and financial barriers – that have contributed to a lack of diversity that can currently be found in professional soccer in the United States.
“This program is about creating real change in our community,” said Lesesne. “Having a conversation and listening are starting points, but tangible action must immediately follow. The amount of women & people of color involved in leadership roles in our sport are staggeringly low and this initiative is a starting point to generate more opportunities. Our hope is that every professional club provides a similar program for their community.”
The application process for the fellowship program will open in August, with more information available through the Somos Unidos Foundation.