Our Mission

The First Goal is a charitable organization dedicated to empowering under privileged youth through athletics.

About Us

The First Goal was started in 2012 when Laurel Swanson and Daniel Varela moved to Tijuana, Mexico where they saw an immediate need for a social movement that would target issues such as child obesity, poor elementary education, and gang affiliation.

Initially named “Subibaja: Mejoremos Baja” the organization began with park clean-ups, fundraiser sports tournaments, non-perishable food collection, and kids’ fitness programs. The program quickly grew at which point soccer, the most relevant sport in the country was introduced as a way to develop and empower youth by providing a consistent opportunity to participate in organized team sports.

The values and beliefs of the organization came into focus during this maturing process with the overarching goal of helping youth pursue education and stay active. For some kids this means additional financial help, for some it means counseling and guidance, for some it means providing food but the common thread linking these youth is soccer. Soccer is the tool utilized by The First Goal to create a very strong bond among organization members in an ever-expanding movement that has begun to gain notoriety in Tijuana and Southern California.

The First Goal aims to break the cycle of poverty through education, with soccer being the incentive to achieve it. The focus is not to create professional athletes but to create all-around better human beings; people that will have a positive impact in their families and consequently, society.