A San Francisco high school soccer player is making the most of these challenging times by helping to feed those in need.
Good footwork and quick reflexes make Mateo Pena-Sanchez a player on the rise in Bay Area soccer, and with soccer season cancelled, the San Francisco Glens’ goalkeeper is using his hands to help the community.
“It’s eye opening to see what people go through every day, like what struggles other people have that we don’t have,” Pena-Sanchez said.
The 16-year-old junior at Leadership High School in San Francisco volunteers two days a week at food drives in the city’s Mission District.
“To see people get evicted from their houses I feel like by me giving back to my community it’s keeping them alive in the Mission District,” he said.
And that's not all. He’s helped test nearly 3,000 people in his neighborhood for COVID-19.
“Mateo is able to inspire others by leading by example by getting in touch with his community,” said Ryan Maquinana, SF Glen’s director of communications. “It touches all of us but it also drives us even harder to really push forward to stay true to the values to the mission of our club.”
Helping others is personal for Pena-Sanchez, a way to give back for all he’s been given.
Without the SF Glen Scholarship Fund, he couldn’t afford to be a part of one of the state’s premiere youth soccer clubs.
And while he enjoys helping others, he can’t wait to put his hands back to use saving shots on the pitch.
“I hope to get on the field very soon,” he said.