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Open Field

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Exchange, International Relief, Soccer, Sports, Youth Development

Mission: To improve the lives and futures of youth through sport.

Results: Youth who participate have higher confidence in their own leadership skills, more likely to stay in school, feel a sense of responsibility to their community, and give back through service.

Target demographics: promote health, education, leadership, and civic engagement within youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 600 youth

Geographic areas served: under-served communities in Cameroon, Africa and Pittsburgh, PA

Programs: youth-led, neighborhood-based soccer activities that create positive experiences and a safe place to play

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 AJ F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got know about Open Field through my elder brother who at the time worked with them. The programs carried out by Open Field have just been so exceptional. Despite the ongoing crises, they have successfully shaped the lives and minds of several youths in the North and south West Regions of Cameroon. The impact of these programs is evident from all the youths who pass their program and indeed have evolved to be role models for the younger generation to follow. They have absolutely bettered their lives and given them the necessary tools to live a bright future. With this and much more, I feel very lucky to serve this prestigious organization.

Alex S.6

Donor

Rating: 5

Open Field has been an invaluable part of the community here in Pittsburgh through their educational and outreach programs. We're thankful to have Justin and his organization as our neighbor. I'm proud to have participated in the recent Steel City World Cup to continue strengthening the bonds within the community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Open Field positively impacts the youth in many of our Pittsburgh communities. Open Field uses soccer as a way to connect with resettled youth and native Pittsburghers to teach life skills and build positive relationships. I have witnessed youth grow, benefit, and give back to the programs in which they have participated. It is amazing to see how the game of soccer can be used to positively impact our community.

Earl S.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met Justin Forzano when I went to Cameroon with Coaches Across Continents. He brought his coaches to our program. They were terrific, they fit right in. A goal of their mission is to empower youth. I worked with and watched their coaches for a week. They clearly meet the goal and many more. Then Justin expanded to Pittsburgh, his home town.'

There he serves many immigrant children. He is gaining corporate support allowing him to provide soccer for personal development and more to more youth. Way to go Justin!

He hopes to expand to the Caribbean. Covid has slowed that down, but he will get there. I live about 400 miles from Pittsburgh but I sure hope to get there for one of his African food festivals.

Sincerely,
Earl Strassberger
Skokie, Illinois

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Open Field for a season and it was a wonderful experience. Justin and the organizers are very professional and it was always fun getting to coach the kids. I volunteered in Crafton Heights and I saw how Open Field provides a wonderful after school program to families in Pittsburgh's Somali refugee community. The practices are structured, fun, welcoming and inclusive to anyone who wants to get outside.

collfee

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Open field does an awesome job providing young people opportunities for fun, physical activity along with leadership training, volunteer opportunities and more. They have a unique model that brings together young people from various walks of life, to learn, play and work together.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's a wonderful experience working with Open Field , we impacted the lives of more than a thousand youths in different communities using the game of football with the collaboration and sponsorship of Open field . We , our youths and their various communities will always remain grateful for the great impacts made by open field. Attached are pictures of educational and leisure programs organised by Open field.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Open Field is an organization dedicated to the "development of youth through sport" specifically soccer. It was started by a young man, Justin Forzano, in his native city of Pittsburgh, PA. Through his efforts, young men and women in Pittsburgh have learned skills that are necessary to succeed not only in the game of soccer, but also in life. Forzano also brought his program, along with its mission and methods, to young people in West Africa, specifically to Cameroun. The program has been so enthusiastically supported that another West African country, that of Guinea, has welcomed Open Field. The kick-off to that program will take place in the beginning of December. The lives of hundreds of young people have been touched by Forzano's efforts on their behalf, and there is no end in sight - only further expansion.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Open Field for over 3 years. The transformation in the kids that we work with has been amazing to watch. The bonds between the coaches, volunteers, and players continue to grow as the organization emphasizes continuity with the same kids. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this incredible group and to help the kids grow both as players and young people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am relatively new to Open Field in Pittsburgh but have had the honor of being a volunteer for the 2021 summer and fall sessions. It's a joy to watch the smiles on the kids' faces every week when they arrive to play soccer. I coached mostly the younger girls and loved watching them develop their soccer skills while also learning how to handle their emotions. This program is something the kids look forward to each week and helps give them a sense of belonging and accomplishment. I am super proud to be a part of this program and look forward to being involved in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is doing great things for youth and communities all around the world! They help kids learn important skills like communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, and more, all while helping them have fun and develop their soccer skills. They empower students to be leaders and role models for other youth in their neighborhood. I can't say enough positive things about this group and their impact on thousands of people around the world!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the absolute honor of working with Open Field during a virtual youth summer camp. Before this experience, I would have never though virtual soccer could be so successful! It quickly became clear to me that Open Field is full of driven staff that take their love for soccer and refugee/immigrant youth and create programming that is welcoming, engaging, and transformative. From planning session to actual camp session, they demonstrated their dedication to youth and cultivated an environment rooted in openness, growth, and fun. Thank you Open Field for such a wonderful experience!

Comments ( 1 )

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Justin Forzano 11/25/2020

Thank you for this incredible feedback, Shalom!! It was an honor to work with you, too!

Donor

Rating: 5

At a time when finances are tight and so many non-profits need funds, it can be difficult to decide where to give those precious dollars. I have supported and will continue to support Open Field because I believe in their mission and know my support goes to where it is needed most. They truly make a difference in the lives of the youth they serve and give them the tools for a brighter future. Their CEO, Justin is hands-on and pours his heart and soul into positively impacting others. This is an organization you can be proud to support; I am.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Where do I start?
Open field has been really great, I've followed their work for a while, and I can say we are very lucky to be able to partner with them now. It's been a journey to adapt our programs to the virtual reality, but it's working with Open Field. We know how important physical exercise is, and not just that, we are working with children as young as 7 to develop life skills and good habits. Thank you Justin

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with OpenField over the past couple of years and it is always an experience that I look forward to and appreciate. The youth I work with always get super excited to play soccer with OpenField and I have seen many youth come out of OpenField programming feeling positive and confident in their abilities. The team at OpenField are thoughtful, innovative, and caring. They always put youth first and make sure that their students get something out of every drill and every game. Thank you OpenField for all of the important work you do in our community!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Open Field is a continuously innovative, growth-minded, and impact-oriented organization. By utilizing a worldwide & well-loved sport, they give local and global youth the opportunity to grow and develop into life-long community leaders.

Each time they make an exciting announcement or share participant stories, they also authentically communicate the journey of the organization’s past and present, all while envisioning a hope and strategy for the future. The drive, purpose and passion of its founders Justin Forzano & Peter Ngwane, leaders, and volunteers is clear.

Directly hearing from members of the Open Field community also shows that this is an organization that meaningfully delivers impact locally and globally as promised. Take the time to volunteer, donate or become involved, and you will most certainly continue your day, week or year inspired, knowing you have made a difference!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just recently starting helping out here and it is such an amazing experience. I love seeing the kids and their excitement grow fin to the sport each week! I want to stay with the program for as long as possible to see it continue to develop and expand to even more kids.

1 Heather C.13

Donor

Rating: 5

This is truly a wonderful organization connecting communities and cultures through soccer. A main aspect is supporting youth to develop into leaders and preparing them to work collaboratively in team environments.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Soccer transcends boundaries. It is a universal language that all can understand and appreciate. The beauty of Open Field is that it captures that essence through its work. We incorporate skill building activities, like communicating effectively, into drills and practices. The idea is that the communities we engage with are better captivated when sport is used as the vehicle to deliver lessons. Being involved with Open Field has been a privilege and has taught me that grassroots initiatives like this one are the real way to make a change.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Open Field recently celebrated their 10 years anniversary and, I am extremely happy for Justin and his team. Over the years, I have watched Open Field work endlessly to scale up their mission statement in order to reach a larger youth group. This organization is international about the services they provide to youths both internationally and locally. Open Field not only provide a space that’s rich in culture, but they also add value to the Diversity&Inclusion of our city.

1 Kori D.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported Open Field since its earliest days for two primary reasons.
First, I've known Justin, a founder and current CEO, since childhood and know that his intentions were always to help those around him. In our society, we often see this type of purpose jaded or lost over time; however, Justin and his team continuously prove to keep Open Field's Mission first. They are consistently growing, building, and adapting to make the most effective impact possible. They are savvy with their resources ensuring long term change and steady, efficient growth for a sustainable future in what feels like an unsustainable world.
Secondly, while their programs offer immediate, visible benefits for the participants, it is their focus on long term impacts that set them apart from so many other organizations. Their programs and events are designed to inspire and guide youth through many developmental stages both physically and mentally. They are cultivating a safe place where youth can express themselves, learn from one another and create a larger change within their communities. The values the participants gain through the lessons, coaches and each other will be felt on a global scale for years to come. It only takes one person to make a difference and Open Field is connecting over 1,200+ students across multiple continents. The positive quality of life these children will offer to our planet's future is endless and priceless.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Worked with Open Field as an intern and it's clear that this organization is doing it for the right field with a clear vision of the future. Important work, great people.

1 Peter L.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Open Field allowed me to help run soccer drills and soccer sessions for kids who do not have a great opportunity to participate in sports. It was an unbelievable experience working with the kids and helping out different communities in the Pittsburgh area. Being a part of Open Field also reinforced several life skills that are learned at a young age.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've supported this worthy nonprofit almost since conception, both financially and otherwise, and well before joining the Board. The Executive Director continues to impress me on how he and the staff have the drive to continue to open new doors (or fields) constantly for children. As a former soccer player myself, I can attest to how the game is important to bringing people together and helping teach new skills, and I hope others are able to appreciate that as well.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Open Field does many things well - of course their soccer activities are popular with the kids, but they intentionally provide a space for youth to develop social skills and community, while also giving these youth the opportunity to become leaders and professionals themselves. This unique programming has done great work in Cameroon for many years, and now they are in Pittsburgh to foster understanding (and fun!) for refugee/immigrant youth with their locally born neighbors. Donate, volunteer, or spread the word about this wonderful organization!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We have worked with Open Field since 2014 and every year the experience gets better and better! They have done an amazing job at supporting our students - immigrant and refugee youth living in Pittsburgh, PA - and motivating them to become leaders through their favorite activity: soccer! We bring Open Field into every one of our programs because we believe in their mission and we've seen the impact first-hand. Our team feels very lucky to have them as a resource in our community!

Zipporah B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Open Field is such a great organization! You can tell that all of the volunteers and staff are excited and motivated to help kids all around Pittsburgh through soccer! All of the kids are so excited to play and learn skills that will leave an indelible mark on the rest of their lives.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Open Field is a unique non profit organization that encompasses all aspects of learning, values and the love of playing the sport of soccer. The program exudes high energy, excitement and a wealth of curiosity amongst all the children who participate and desire to gain positive supports and connection in order to grow successfully in their community. I feel honored to be involved with this organization and look forward to witnessing the evolution and expansion of this community based wonder in many years to come!

Josh K.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Incredible experience working with Open Field! It is amazing how the organization cares so much about making a difference in the communities in which it operates. Open Field not only provides great services to the participants, but it has also become a helpful neighbor with great mentors for the youth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OpenField’s a great organization with a really committed group of people who are truly dedicated to their cause.

Board Member

Rating: 5

So proud to be part of an organization that is making real change in the lives of kids in Cameroon and Pittsburgh!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved being able to be a coach for OpenFields helping to share my love for soccer with youth from all over the world. I have been so excited to see how they can change and embrace the game and really find joy in it the more they play!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Open Field has been on an amazing journey from Cameroon to Pittsburgh using soccer to make connections for kids and teach life lessons along the way. The organization works hard to make sure every dollar has a maximum impact on the communities served.

1 Javier J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In today's world, education needs to be look at with a winder lens. Classroom learning is but a piece of a child's educational experience, and Open Field recognizes the urgent need to augment a child's learning with unique and dynamic opportunities. By transforming soccer fields into places of learning using innovative approaches, Open Field is making a positive impact on children around the world. Children learn best where they are comfortable and able to be themselves, and Open Field's programs provide that space.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I’ve been involved with this organization for several years and have seen the impact on the kids first hand. The amount of work this organization accomplishes is impressive, to say the least!