Outside of his day job, Neal Regino ’03 gives back to a person, a place, and a thing that have given him so much.
In 2005, following the tragic death of his best friend and soccer teammate, Will Trippley ’02, who was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight on Easter Sunday 2004, Regino co-founded the William Trippley Youth Development Foundation. The nonprofit organization creates opportunity—through education, nonviolence, and soccer—for at-risk and underserved youth in Trippley’s hometown of Chester, Pennsylvania.
“Will came from a rough area and made something of himself through academics and soccer. I wanted to make sure we could give kids the same opportunities he had, with the goal of getting them off the streets between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m., when they’re most likely to engage in destructive behaviors,” Regino says. “Many of our first participants are now in college and we’ve impacted thousands of young lives since the foundation began.”
Regino, who serves as Managing Director, Greater Philadelphia, at Evolution Financial Group, donates his time and talent as President of the Alumni Council at The Shipley School, where he also sits on the Board of Trustees and the Community Engagement Committee. Seven years ago, he was invited back to campus to speak at Shipley’s Thanksgiving All-School Assembly (watch Neal’s speech
“I spoke about how Shipley helped me to become more altruistic and a leader,” Regino says, noting his integral role as liaison between alumni, Council members, and Trustees. “I’m proud that I attended Shipley. I felt I was given an opportunity to reach my full potential.”
In its own efforts to honor Trippley’s memory and legacy, Shipley established the Will Trippley Tutoring Program, the Will Trippley ’02 Memorial Endowment Fund, and the Rapoport-Trippley Fitness Center. (The late Brian Rapoport ’02, for whom a memorial fund is also named, played soccer alongside Trippley and Regino.)
After serving as captain of the boys’ varsity soccer team, Regino went on to play for Muhlenberg College, where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in business administration, with a concentration in management, and studio art. He currently volunteers through his foundation’s year-round soccer academy, Chester City United, which offers small-sided games, intramural leagues, and summer camps for children ages 6–14. Much like Regino’s own experiences on the soccer field, participants learn far more than just the rules of the game.
“As a child, soccer defined me in a lot of ways,” Regino says. “It gave me discipline and showed me what it meant to work hard to achieve something. It gave me access to life experiences. It allowed me to connect to a group and fit in. It helped me transcend socioeconomic classes and racial divides. It taught me how to be a good teammate and a better person. It taught me what I’m capable of and that I shouldn’t settle for mediocrity.”
To this day, personally, professionally, and civically, he credits Trippley, Shipley, and soccer as the keys to his success.