Neal Regino ’03—Improving the Lives of Chester City Youth Through Soccer
Even before Major League Soccer came to Chester, PA, Shipley alumnus Neal Regino ’03 and the Will Trippley Youth Development Foundation were working to improve the lives of Chester’s youth through soccer. The program ran its first camp in the summer of 2006 and has celebrated many milestones since then—including the recent $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant won in coordination with MLS team the Philadelphia Union. The organizations are hoping the grant will give them something else to celebrate—a new soccer field for the 300+ Chester children who benefit from the Will Trippley Youth Development Foundation’s Chester City United Soccer Program.
Regino is president of the Will Trippley Youth Development Foundation, which seeks to positively impact the lives of youth in the Chester community through soccer, education, and mentorship. The foundation was created in honor of Regino’s classmate, teammate, and best friend, Will Trippley ’02, who was tragically caught in the crossfire of a shootout near his home in Chester in 2004.
Regino, together with Trippley’s mother, Pat, Will’s friend Justin Pines, and Justin’s father, David, developed the vision for the Will Trippley Youth Development Foundation. Today, the Foundation offers a year-round program focused on academic excellence and athletic acceleration through soccer. The Foundation uses soccer to develop leadership skills, teach teamwork, and provide social opportunities for children in the Chester community. The Foundation also encourages participants to strive for a higher education through tutoring and after-school programs, and hopes to provide scholarships in the future.
Chester City United, the Foundation’s soccer program, inaugurated its travel club team this September. Without a proper field to call its own, the team has only been able to play its games on the opponents’ turf. The $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant will help fund the building project, which will include a full-sized natural grass soccer field.
Regino, who works full-time at Vanguard, devotes most of his free time to the Will Trippley Youth Development Foundation as its president, soccer coach, mentor, and tutor. “I am very excited about this grant,” commented Regino. “Our kids will finally have a place to call home and our organization will have more resources to reach more children. This is a big step for us and I want to thank everyone who voted in an effort to make this possible.”