Join us for S6:EP8 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Monica Bosiljevac, Executive Director at Football For The World Foundation (FFTW) sits down with our host; Roy Kessel to share her life story, and how FFTW works to vastly improve the quality of children’s lives through the game of football (soccer).
As a young girl, sports were always a forefront for Monica and her family. With older siblings out playing sports, she decided to follow and played a variety of sports, including softball with her father as a coach. Monica quickly learned that she had a competitive edge to her and decided to specialize in soccer as her high-school sport. Deciding whether she wanted to play soccer or not in college was a very difficult choice, however she ultimately decided to further continue her soccer career at the University of Nebraska-Omaha; a soccer program that had previously won the division II title, yet transferred to division I play that year. While at Nebraska-Omaha, Monica studied Marketing and Management, leading to a passion within studying sports from the business side. Monica became an intern at UNO in Marketing, Fundraising, and Ticketing, which set her up to receive an MBA. Monica then helped form Football For The World, a nonprofit foundation focused on helping create a better quality of life for children through the game of soccer, and since then has helped many children pursue their soccer aspirations.
As Executive Director of the FFTW Foundation, Monica ensures that children get the chance to play soccer on the field, while gaining valuable life skills and having a social experience that is otherwise hard to find in the classroom. FFTW provides soccer equipment, such as cleats, shinguards, balls, jerseys and more to children that cannot afford the necessary equipment to play and have fun on the soccer field.
The Football For World Foundation is geographically located in Omaha, NE; with an international footprint, as gear and necessary soccer equipment is shipped out to over 30 countries all over the globe. Monica and FFTW are consistently looking for alignment in the respective communities being served. The ability to participate and communicate online through zoom has allowed for many more participants, and FFTW hopes to continue expanding its knowledge throughout the country and world.
In the next few years, Monica and FFTW visualizes the organization growing through the addition of a full-time staff, and looks to deepen its impact by continuing program building within Omaha and South Florida. The program is hoping to create accessibility through more soccer fields in new communities, and building mini pitches throughout the world for children to gain access to a place to play organized soccer.
Highlights of Monica’s Podcast
- 00:00 Introduction
- 2:00 Monica’s passion for sports as a child
- 4:30 Sports in high-school and college
- 6:30 Going to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to play soccer
- 9:00 Studying Business while playing soccer in college
- 10:30 Post-career After UNO college experience
- 12:30 Getting involved within Football For The World non-profit organization
- 16:30 Team at Football For The World Foundation, and working with kids
- 20:30 Where the team geographically operates
- 23:00 How she finds colleagues and help for the organization
- 25:30 Horizon the the next few years of the foundation
- 28:00 Ways to get involved and support
- 30:00 Choice of league commissioner and parting words