5 SBU Female Student-Athletes at the Lyon International Airport

Photo: The SBU delegation including Leslie (second from right) in Lyon France for streetfootballworld’s Festival 19.

Over the past few years, South Bronx United has helped me grow as a person, student, and athlete. My name is Lesley Miron. I am 16 years old, and I am in the 11th grade at the Academy of Mount St. Ursula. At South Bronx United I play as a center midfielder for the girls U19 team. I joined the SBU recreational soccer program back in 2017. After trying out for the travel team and attending orientation, I joined the SBU academy. I have been part of the SBU family for 3 years.

Since the very beginning, my favorite thing about SBU has been how involved the staff and volunteers are with the students. Although I had many great experiences with SBU, my favorite has definitely been the trip to France, especially since it was my first time out of the country. Last summer, I went with Bridget, who is the SBU Academy Director, three of my teammates, and an alum from SBU. We traveled for an event called Festival 19. Festival 19 had the goal to bring boys and girls from all around the world to play soccer and learn about gender equality.

Aside from playing soccer and touring around France, we also had the opportunity to go see the Women’s 2019 World Cup. I went to the semifinal and the final for the biggest women’s sporting event in the world! You can imagine how amazing that moment was! This experience made me realize how much soccer means to me, and how I wish to pursue it. Traveling to France and being surrounded by people from all around the world made the trip unforgettable. This experience had a huge impact on me, and I learned many things I never thought I would.

When we came back to New York, we wanted to share how impactful this experience was with everyone at SBU. With the help of SBU and everyone who traveled to France, we organized an event as well. We called it Football 4 Equality. Our purpose was to share our experience in France with younger kids. We had one event in the summer of 2019 and we had another one in the winter of 2019. I’m glad I got to work with young boys and girls, and talk to them about how important gender equality is. I am very grateful to SBU for allowing me to have a wonderful experience in France and being able to share it. 

I have changed since the first day I started at South Bronx United. Being a part of SBU has helped strengthen my self confidence. My cousin first introduced me to SBU and since then more of my family members have joined. Both of my younger sisters are part of the U-12 travel team. I also have two younger cousins who are involved in the recreational program on Saturday’s.

When I first joined, I remember being a quiet and uninvolved person. As time went by, I began to feel more comfortable in this environment. I decided to be more open to new opportunities. SBU helped me improve my mindset and my goals. The experiences that I gained each helped me shape my present and future goals. SBU even helped me get a job with their recreational program. I recently started working on Saturday’s as a referee. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, I only got to work for the fall 2019 season. My life would not be the same without SBU and I am very grateful for every opportunity SBU has offered me.

The SBU Delegation at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals between USA and the Netherlands in Lyon, France.