GVP Hosts the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team


by Egypt Noboa | April 29, 2024

The room buzzed with the students’ feelings. Shyness, curiosity, and excitement flitted from one girl to another. They couldn’t wait for the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team (USWNT) to arrive, wondering, “Who are these women wanting to meet us?”


During this school year at GVP, students have had the opportunity to be a part of Atlanta’s Soccer in the Streets program. Every Wednesday after classes, the girls walk to the Decatur Recreation Center to engage in sportsmanship and physical activity through soccer. When the USWNT heard about GVP, a school of refugee girls who eagerly play soccer every week, they requested to come meet us. On April 4th, GVP students were given the opportunity to meet the USWNT, and in return, their day was enriched by the stories of our girls.

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As 13 students, an entire soccer team, and a crew of cameramen squeezed into the long hallway of our school, our Student and Family Engagement Manager, Mr. Crispin, did the honor of introducing the team to the extraordinary experience of GVP. Walking down the hallway from room to room, students grabbed arms with team members, laughing and sharing their learning experiences. The girls gravitated towards players like Kristin Mewis and Naomi Girma as they ran to the library to share their favorite books. Following the tour, students led the team to the recreation center, each one walking with a team member discussing topics like school, music, and career goals.

Upon arrival, before the fun could begin, the USWNT introduced and highlighted the efforts of a specific player, Catarina Macro. Catarina and the students had something in common, the experience of being a child in a foreign country. Born in Brazil, Catarina moved to the U.S. when she was 12 years old. With little to no English, she struggled, but after relentlessly pursuing her dreams, she earned a spot on the 2023 Women’s National Team. Our girls sat quietly listening to her story in awe, reflecting on their own experiences and goals.

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For the GVP students this event was full of surprises, but nothing could have prepared them for what was next. Heads turned and screams were let out when the USWNT revealed their gifts to the girls: an array of soccer cleats in all sizes and colors, limited edition soccer shirts, and a chance to play a game with the team! As the students shared their goodbyes, took photos and received personal autographs, they looked forward with anticipation and excitement to seeing the team again at the U.S. vs. Japan game on April 6th.

We, the students and staff, are in tremendous appreciation of this event! The students were grateful for the opportunity to meet these women who have achieved their goals, and the staff were thankful to see the joy in the smiles that stretched across their faces.