Denver, Colorado (May 22, 2013) – Alex Vaassen, an AmeriCorps staff member at Urban Peak, was awarded Major League Soccer (MLS)’s W.O.R.K.S. prestigious Community MVP award representing the Colorado Rapids. Vaassen was bestowed this honor for using soccer as a tool in helping to improve the lives of youth in Denver who are experiencing homelessness.
Each year, Major League Soccer awards 19 outstanding individuals who promote goodwill, demonstrate leadership, and work to improve the lives of those that reside in their respective communities with the local MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP award.
As Colorado Rapids’ representative and local honoree, Alex Vaassen will be recognized at the July 4 Colorado Rapids soccer game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Vaassen will also advance to the Community MVP finals and compete in a nationwide vote against 18 other MLS team representatives from around the nation to be named MLS W.O.R.K.S. 2013 Community MVP. The winner of the online competition will receive $10,000 from MLS W.O.R.K.S. to donate to a charity of his or her choice and a trip to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Voting takes place July 1 – July 12 at http://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsworks/community-mvp/vote.
“Our motto at Urban Peak is ‘Real Life. Real Change.’ Through his volunteer efforts both on the job and through sport, Alex exemplifies the positive impact – the real change – one person can have on an entire population,” said Kendall Rames, Deputy Director/Director of Programs at Urban Peak. “We are extremely fortunate to have Alex on our team and congratulate him on this tremendous honor.”
Through his work with AmeriCorps, Alex Vaassen serves as a life skills counselor at Urban Peak, a Denver-based non-profit organization that serves youth ages 15 to 25 who are experiencing homelessness. Based in the organization’s Drop-In Center, Alex works with 50 – 100 Denver youth per day in developing critical skills (finance, health, coping skills, etc.) to help them on their individual paths to self-sufficiency, and ensuring their basic needs (shelter, food, clothing, etc.) are met.
Outside of his daily responsibilities at Urban Peak, Vaassen recently orchestrated the Urban Peak World Cup 5v5, the first employee-led sport fundraising event for Urban Peak. The inaugural event drew dozens of participants and raised hundreds of dollars for youth who are experiencing homelessness.
About MLS W.O.R.K.S.
MLS W.O.R.K.S. is Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS W.O.R.K.S. seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport.
About Urban Peak
Founded in 1988, Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 to 25 experiencing homelessness or youth who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Urban Peak serves youth along their individual journeys to self-sufficiency in providing numerous amenities, programs and services including a 40-bed shelter, daytime drop-in center and activities, transitional housing, education and employment services, case management, life skills courses, mental health evaluations, meals and more. In fiscal year 2012, Urban Peak served 2,550 unduplicated youth. For more information, visit www.urbanpeak.org.