U.S. women’s soccer star’s contribution to Kennedy High

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Midfielder Julie Ertz is interviewed by a FOX Sports reporter following her team's 2-1 win over Spain on Monday, June 24, 2019.

A star athlete helping the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team chase its World Cup dreams in France, has also been helping to make a difference in a college readiness program at Kennedy High in Richmond.

Midfielder Julie Ertz, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars, and her husband, Philadelphia Eagles star tight-end Zach Ertz, who was raised in Alamo, were recently the subject of a great profile in Diablo Magazine that in part discussed the relatively new Ertz Family Foundation.

The foundation was inspired by a trip Zach took to Haiti in April 2018 with his teammates. The nonprofit is dedicated to “empowering others by sharing faith, learning through sports and advancing education to build supportive communities,” according to its website.

The organization hit the ground running last year, raising $200,000 in its inaugural event held in July. Those funds helped fund three efforts: scholarship money for The Mission of Hope in Haiti; the rescue of a Philadelphia high school football program that had all of its equipment stolen; and, as mentioned, for a college readiness program at Kennedy High in partnership with College is Real. The nonprofit has also helped raise other funds for a number of initiatives assisting families and students in Philadelphia.

Zach Ertz’s mom, Lisa, runs the foundation and told Diablo Magazine that $50,000 was contributed to hire someone to run the College is Real program at Kennedy High.

College is Real aims to find, motivate, educate and mentor students aspiring to attend college at Richmond’s three public high schools. The program provides academic counseling, tutoring, college application assistance, community service opportunities to strengthen student applications, college tours, scholarship opportunities and more. The program went from serving 16 students in its initial year in 2005 to well over 350 students annually.

As Lisa Ertz described the nonprofit in the Diablo article, “They sign up for the program and keep in touch with [the administrator], who advises them on everything they need to do to make that dream come true.”

The partnership between College is Real and the Ertz Family Foundation is perhaps another reason to cheer on Julie and the U.S. women’s soccer team, which faces the home team France in the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Friday.

Make certain to read Diablo Magazine’s full report, which profiled the lives of Julie and Zach. The story, in part, recalled the famous videos showing Zach’s response to Julie’s on-the-soccer-pitch reaction to learning the Eagles had just earned the trip to the Super Bowl.