Isaac Valencia was the head speaker, he’s a former player for Chula Vista FC who shared more details for the freshman and sophomore students laying out the most important aspects to begin their process as they get ready to get involved with college.
Giving out four very important aspects that these young players should start working on as they continue their education and begin scouting for a school of their interest.
The first bullet point was to create a list of their top 10 schools taking into consideration the academic and athletic programs, in what division does that school play in and location just to mention a few.
Another aspect is to start having meetings with their respective High School Counselors so they could help them create a 4 year plan to ensure they meet the necessary requirements for getting the admission to their desired college.
One of the most important things he mentioned was building a bulking player profile as well as a highlight video, this would allow them to apply to different schools that may not have the opportunity to fly and watch them play.
The fourth advice Valencia gave to the audience was to start attending college events and reaching out to college coaches, this means sending emails with their information and presenting themselves with an opportunity to be seen by the schools of their choosing.
As the evening progressed the guest speakers started sharing their life experience and the first one to do so was Marco Lujan, who played for CVFC as goalkeeper and graduated from Chuwan University in 2017 and got his masters degree in Business Administration.
Lujan said he’s experience was unusual because he got a late start to his college process but sending emails to every school was the best thing he did to find a school who provided him with the things he needed to enroll.
“You should stay focused on your goal but also understand that sometimes life will present you with a different thing and you have to be flexible to see that it might not be what you planned but it could be something better’’, explained Lujan.
Next up was Rodrigo Fuentes, who graduated in Public Administration from the University of Nevada in 2016 a former player for Chula Vista FC and now developing a career as a soccer coach, he was nominated for the Heisman Trophy in 2016.
“The core for me was the passion I have for the sport at the end of the day you don’t know what’s going to be of you but if you drive yourself with that energy you’ll start to find the right things for you’’, said Fuentes about his journey and what drove him during that process.
Marlene Lopez, is a former CVFC player who also played for Albion Pros in the WPSL League and currently attending San Diego Mesa College with a major in Kinesiology and working on a Business Degree.
She talked about the complicated situation that is leaving your family and friends to go to college, but staying focused on what you want and need in life is the force that should drive every decision a young player and student makes.
“It’s okay to change your mind, it’s okay to look for something different if it’s not working for you. Take advantage of all the help you have at your disposal in college to be in the right mindset to continue excelling both in soccer and academics’’, said Lopez.
Another of the guest speakers was Jordan Chavez, former player for Chula Vista who’s now playing for the SD Loyal. He spoke about what it was like to be able to continue playing pro after college.
‘’For me it was something I always dreamed about but wasn’t sure was coming my way but I never quitted on my dream I kept working out on my own and thanks to Hector (Club Owner) who motivated me to keep playing and gave me the platform so the SD Loyal could see me play’’, said Chavez.
Also sharing their life experience were Alex Guillen-Torres, Luis Alvarado and Jorge Navarro who all spoke about never giving up on your dreams and just how important it is to achieve your goals.
As a member of the audience, Luis Maciel a young player for the U-19 MLS Next said this night was something he and his teammates were not expecting but thought it was something good to be able to see this life stories of players who once were in the same position he is.
‘’I am happy that the Club is doing this for us, taking the time to bring the information about college, right now I’m a senior and I had no idea how to apply but seeing and hearing everything that went on tonight. Is going to help me a lot’’, said Maciel.