PHILADELPHIA (CBS)– A Philadelphia man could have let a devastating injury slow him down. He didn’t. He’s getting young people moving.
On a soggy afternoon in the city, the Clymer Elementary School cafeteria subbed as a gym as students worked on soccer moves with volunteer coach Dominique Landry.
“I love it!” Dominique said. “They can be difficult at times, but it’s great to see when they pick up something, or they learn something, or they get really engaged in the game.”
Ten-year-old Juelz Boon is just one of the students learning soccer. “If you make mistakes during the game, that’s why you come to practice,” Juelz said.
This club is called the Athletic Club of Fairhill. Tariq Mangum helped organize the funding and the volunteers for this program through his non-profit, the Mangum Foundation.
“And in the city of Philadelphia, the youth really doesn’t know too much about soccer,” Tariq said, “so we’re trying to bring something different instead of basketball and football.”
Tariq watches from the sidelines. He was paralyzed in a car crash in April 2006 at the age of 16.
“I was young. I was going to college, I was graduating that year, my birthday was coming up, so it kind of hindered me,” Tariq said. “But once I went to therapy and learned that you got to fight for what you want, I kind of got out of the slump and just started working trying to get back to normal life.”
Tariq became an entrepreneur and also started the non-profit to help kids like Juelz, whose mother, Sherice Workman, is grateful he found soccer.
“He’s a really good kid anyway so it’s just, it fits him. Soccer fits him,” Sherice said.
Tariq says soccer teaches discipline and confidence. “You know, some of these don’t have men in the household,” Tariq said. “They don’t have a figure to look up to.” Now, thanks to people like Tariq and Dominique, they do.
The Mangum Foundation also provides volunteer tutoring for students, assistance for homeless shelters, and support for families with autism. You can reach them at http://mangumfoundation.com/