WHY? Tiffany (and co-coach Lisa Wrightsman) has almost single-handedly taken SSUSA’s curriculum and made it accessible for formerly-homeless women, most of whom are recovering from addiction. Wrightsman started the Salamanders about three years back. Since then, she and Fraser have been instrumental in bringing street soccer to formerly homeless women throughout the United States. They coach the Lady Salamanders throughout the year, raising enough funding to bring the team to the national championship in New York, and then serve as coaches for the US women’s national team in the Street Soccer World Cup–held anywhere from Mexico to Poland to Brazil. Both women have day jobs, Lisa as a student services administrator at Asher College and Tiffany as an account executive at The Johnson Group, Inc (she manages the Rapid Ramen Cooker)–and then tack on another 40 hours/week for the Salamanders endeavor.
BETCHA’ DIDN’T KNOW:
–3 WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SACRAMENTO? Community. Opportunity. Change.
–FAVE LOCAL CAUSE? Street Soccer USA’s Sacramento Lady Salamanders, of course! It’s been so exciting to witness and play a role in the development of this program. I am incredibly passionate about the work and impact that Street Soccer USA has on men, women, and youth experiencing homelessness. In such a unique and effective way the organization as a whole changes the lives of not only the players experiencing homelessness, but it also embraces and highlights the best parts of each volunteer, coach, and director by creating a community that supports positive development in everyone involved.
The Sacramento Lady Salamanders, SSUSA’s local chapter for women and youth, continue to demonstrate how special they are as every year the results seen with the women and youth players reach new heights; currently 92% of participants obtain employment, permanent housing, education, or a leadership role with in their first year of participation. This success rate is only possible with the backing and support of our community and I truly believe the magic has just begun.
–WHICH SACRAMENTO WOMAN INSPIRES YOU? I met Lisa Culp, Executive Director of Women’s Empowerment, last year and have since kept her in mind during the many milestones and challenges along my path. I remember attending one of the Women’s Empowerment graduation’s last spring and being so impressed with the way that people responded to her and the way I was so in awe by her and everything at that event. Every person in the room seemed to have the utmost respect and appreciation for her while still feeling so deeply and genuine connected to her in each of their interactions. Also, I often think about the relentless commitment to the mission and vision it must have taken to develop Women’s Empowerment and am so impressed and proud to have such a program here in Sacramento.
–WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE IN SACRAMENTO IN 5 YEARS? I have always loved eating at roof top bars and restaurants and look for them every time I travel. There is something so peaceful about sitting above the noise and just watching the world at work. I always wanted a tree house when I was a kid and something about roof top restaurants let me create those memories I always wanted. I would love having more places like that around midtown.
–FAVORITE SACRAMENTO “GUILTY PLEASURE”? It’s a little ridiculous, but I have to admit that I eat lunch/dinner at House Kitchen and Bar at least 4 times a week. Beyond being convenient, it is just one of those places where the first time you go you are their most important guest and after that you are just family. On top of that, I love the food. I once at the same dish every work day at House for almost 2 months straight; short rib tacos and fries.
–IF I WASN’T IN MY CURRENT CAREER… I would spend a few years playing professional soccer abroad. I have always wished that I spent more time travelling the world when I was younger but my commitment to soccer and earning a college degree did not allow me the time to travel that I wish I had had. After having travelled to the last three Homeless World Cup tournaments, I am so strongly convinced of how beautiful the world is and that a (soccer) ball can change the world. Playing professional soccer abroad just seems like the perfect way to celebrate these passions and gain some amazing life experiences to pour back into those here at home.
–LADY MENTOR GROWING UP? I was most inspired by my mother and then Claire Huxtable.
–BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? “What’s wrong with hard?,” and, “try to leave people better than how you met them”.
–ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO A SACRAMENTO WOMAN IN HER 20’S? You will likely be better at whatever you are doing, happier with your life, and of greater value to those around you if you are doing what you’re good at and doing what you love.