We Love BuHi teamed up with Soccer in the Streets, an organization that brings soccer and life skills to underserved communities, to host the first BuHi Soccer Fest in the Northeast Plaza parking lot on July 27.

Members of the Kalonji Soccer Academy show off their skills at the first BuHi Soccer Fest held July 27 in the Northeast Plaza parking lot. (Dyana Bagby)

“We’re interested in extending our reach into this area and working with local schools and organizations to provide more opportunities for [youth] to play in safe environments,” said Laura Glancy, director of Youth Programs for the nonprofit Soccer in the Streets.

Besides teaching soccer skills, Soccer in the Streets also focuses on teaching young athletes life skills through mentoring, character development and employability programs, Glancy said.

Executive Director and founder Marian Liou of Brookhaven said her organization envisions “activating” bus stops along Buford Highway with small soccer areas.

Soccer in the Streets recently opened a Station Soccer at MARTA’s Five Points Station as part of a plan to create a network of fields connected by public transportation. Adult and children leagues play at the Five Points soccer field where turf was placed over concrete.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.