America SCORES New England's Anne Strong honored at 7th Annual Women of Excellence Breakfast

Strong recognized for her years of work bringing soccer programs to underserved Boston girls

Boston - (November 18, 2008) - Anne Strong, director of special initiatives for America SCORES New England, was honored recently with a Woman of Excellence award by Germaine Lawrence for her work with CityKicks, an after-school soccer program serving 180 middle school girls in the Boston Public Schools. CityKicks recently merged with America SCORES New England, an affiliate of the nation's leading after-school soccer, literacy and service learning program. The new, larger America SCORES New England will reach 880 Boston Public School students in 23 elementary and middle schools.

Based in Arlington, Mass., Germaine Lawrence is the region's premier residential treatment center for adolescent girls who have experienced significant trauma. Germaine Lawrence provides personalized treatment through comprehensive clinical services, a supportive special education program, and a highly structured therapeutic environment.

"It is a great honor to be recognized with a Women of Excellence award," said Strong. "It is a testament to all of our wonderful CityKicks staff and supporters, without whom this work would never have been possible."

The Women of Excellence awards are given annually to outstanding women who have made substantial contributions toward advancing the well-being of girls. Also honored this year were Carol Johnson, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, and Kelly O'Connell, Sergeant Detective in the Boston Police Department and head of the Boston Area Human Trafficking Task Force. Past honorees include Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, Massachusetts First Lady Diane Patrick and Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith.

Strong left her private law practice in 1999 and founded City Kicks with the goal of expanding the reach of soccer and bringing the benefits of team sports to underserved girls.

CityKicks recently merged with America SCORES New England, an after-school soccer, literacy and service-learning program, serving boys and girls in the Boston Public Schools. Strong now serves as the director of special initiatives for America SCORES New England.

"We could not have asked for a better partner than CityKicks or a more talented and passionate leader than Anne Strong," said Dennis Wright, executive director of America SCORES New England. "She is a truly a remarkable person."

As an inner-city youth soccer activist, Strong has spent years creating programs to give disadvantaged girls the chance to play soccer, including organizing Harvard students to provide weekly soccer clinics for children attending subsidized after-school daycare, creating "Saturday Soccer" in school gyms during the winter and facilitating pick-up soccer games for seven- to 10-year-olds in Cambridge during recess and after school. Strong obtained scholarships, outreach and logistic support for children in public housing to attend Harvard soccer camps, organized and coached soccer teams for neighborhoods and schools that had formerly not had them, and founded Cambridge Youth Soccer.

Strong is an alumnus of Smith College, A.B. 1966 and M.A.T. 1970, and of Suffolk University Law School, 1979.

About America SCORES New England
America SCORES New England is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk urban youth develop life skills, literacy and health through soccer. America SCORES New England utilizes Boston Public School teachers to empower youth through the unique combination of athletics, creative writing and service learning. An affiliate of the national America SCORES program currently in 14 major American cities, America SCORES New England prepares the next generation of students for success throughout their lives, and helps youth realize their full potential as active citizens and leaders of their community. For more information, visit www.AmericaScoresNewEngland.org.