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Soccer in the Streets expands staff, leadership structure to further "raise its game"

May 4,2016

Soccer in the Streets announced Monday an expanded leadership and staff structure that will serve increased programming needs and reinforce the Atlanta-based nonprofit organization's long-term vision to share the sport as a positive social tool in the lives of at-risk youth.

Long-standing Board of Directors member Phil Hill -- who served as chairman from 2001 to 2009 -- has been appointed to the organization's full-time staff as Executive Director. Jill Robbins will now step into a new, more hands-on role as Chief Program Officer, a position that will allow for more focus and support in delivering effective, impactful developmental sessions for kids in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

With expanded programming options, a dedicated group of staff and supporters committed to using the sport as a positive influence, and a growing relationship with Major League Soccer's Atlanta United, Soccer in the Streets will reach more at-risk youth than ever before with various soccer-based community initiatives throughout Atlanta.

"Given the urgency of upcoming projects and importance of building a relationship with Atlanta United, adding to our team is a necessary step," Robbins said. "This new role permits me to devote even more attention to strengthening our high-quality programs, which will always be the centerpiece of our organization."

As part of the new structure, Robbins will oversee day-to-day programming functions of the organization, supervising Soccer in the Streets' trained, certified coaching staff and providing support in the field. Effective immediately, Hill becomes the second full-time addition to join the organization's staff during the rapid growth of 2016.

"I was very eager to take a more involved role in shaping the big-picture future of Soccer in the Streets, a cause that's been close to my heart for more than 15 years," Hill said. "As the organization progresses in our mission of reaching every part of metro Atlanta, our goals and expectations will continually rise."

"While he served on the board, Phil and I worked side-by-side together for many years," Robbins said. "His contributions have been instrumental in building Soccer in the Streets to where we are now."

Throughout 2015's programming slate, Soccer in the Streets reached more than 2,000 at-risk youth with on-field sessions, employability training, mentoring, tournaments, and camps at nearly 30 sites in the Atlanta area. That figure, up six-fold from 2010's numbers, will only increase as new partnerships take effect and flourishing events like the upcoming ATL Champions League spread the organization's message.

Robbins estimates a potential doubling in youth served during 2016's regular activities and special events. Already this year, Soccer in the Streets has launched another community initiative in Atlanta's Underwood Hills Park and received a Sports 4 Life grant from the Women's Sports Foundation and espnW for an expansion focused on developing young women in Sandy Springs.

"We've grown over the years, and without that foundation, we wouldn't be where we are today," Hill said. "Soccer in the Streets will continue to raise its game and create even more opportunities for youth in need."