Balon USA

A nonprofit organization

$5,810 raised by 39 donors

100% complete

$5,000 Goal

It is often assumed that youth in all communities have access to organized sports, a critical component for developing healthy habits. However, youth in low-income, underserved communities often do not participate in organized sport leagues for three main reasons: cost, parental work schedules, and lack of transportation. To overcome these barriers, Balón USA partners with schools and communities to offer free soccer programming at local elementary schools. 

We believe that soccer can strengthen communities. We offer workshops where families learn about their role in youth sports and child development. We develop community leadership by engaging parents as coaches and former players are supported to return as referees or assistant coaches. We focus on youth development, health, sportsmanship, and empowering communities by partnering with schools, parents, and community-based organizations in the areas we serve. 

Our vision is to eliminate the opportunity gap that prohibits underserved communities from participating in organized sports. Our survey data shows that for around 70% of participants, this was the first time they engaged in an organized sport.  Because we do not focus on winning, all children, regardless of experience or ability, are welcomed and supported in our program. We typically see a huge increase in players self-confidence, teamwork, and friendships as the season progresses. 

Balón USA keeps equity at the heart of all we do. We are proud to bring health equity to communities where there are few resources, but we know we do even more than enhance health. We develop community leadership by engaging parents, teachers, former Balon USA participants and community members as coaches, assistant coaches, and referees. Equity, health, cultural responsiveness, and community development are core values of our organization.


"It was close and convenient. The level of challenge was a great intro to sports. It gave my daughter something to earn that she could be proud of."
"My son learned new skills and made new friends. He had fun and never felt pressure to perform a certain way. This is exactly the type of program we wanted and I am very grateful that we had the opportunity to be a part of it."
"Just an overall fantastic program. The help that was given to parents about how to support children on and off the field and encourage them at all times was very helpful."


The mission of Balón USA is to provide high-quality, low-cost, after-school soccer opportunities for students. Our vision is to eliminate the opportunity gap that prohibits under-served communities from participating in organized sports.

Background Statement

Balón USA developed out of a grassroots soccer program started by our Executive Director, Germán Zárate-Bohórquez, in 2009 at Foster Elementary in Arvada. He noticed many students playing soccer on the playground, but few were on real teams. Zárate-Bohórquez began with one team at the school and engaged other teams in non-competitive games around the metro Denver area. Over the years this community-based movement grew by engaging volunteers and other entities, until Balón USA was formed as a non-profit in 2019.

Balon USA served between 90-150 students in Jefferson County each year from 2018-2020. During our 2020-2021 season in Jefferson County, we partnered with Edgewater Collective to bring gift cards, library books, internet hotspots, tutoring, STEM and art activities during practices.

Balon USA expanded its programming to the south Thornton area during the summer of 2021 through a partnership with Adams 12 Five Star Schools and the City of Thornton. Together with the Jefferson Center for Mental Health and other psychologists, we offered social emotional workshops for parents every season. Parents learned about child development and how to support their child in positive ways.

In 2021, we served over 400 students from Title One Schools in Adams 12 Five Star Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools. In 2022 we expanded to serve over 800 students. In 2023, we are on track to serving 1000 students between the spring, summer and fall seasons. We now partner with the Positive Coaching Alliance to offer coach and parent workshops to maintain a positive and encouraging environment for our players at all times.

Our goal is to serve 1200 students in under-resourced communities in 2024. We will continue to focus on the whole child, and to use soccer as a platform to better connect communities to their schools, cities, and to each other.

Organization Data


Organization name

Balon USA

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Recreation & Sports

Organization Size

Small Organization


8600 Ralston Rd Suite L 108
Arvada, CO 80002


16 Yank Way
Lakewood, CO 80228

Service areas

Jefferson County, CO, US

Thornton, CO, US

Weld County, CO, US



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