LA Galaxy's Midfielder, Diego Fagúndez, speaks to students.

LA Galaxy's Midfielder, Diego Fagúndez, and Play-by-Play Broadcaster, Joe Tutino, Inspire Migrant Students during AEG’s Coachella Valley Invitational


Taking a break from the MLS pre-season Coachella Valley Invitational game exhibitions, LA Galaxy midfielder Diego Fagúndez and the club’s sports broadcaster Joe Tutino stopped by Cahuilla Desert Academy to inspire the next generation of athletes enrolled in Coachella Valley Unified School District’s (CVUSD) Migrant Program on Feb. 12.

The purpose of the event was to provide kids from migrant families with a unique opportunity to learn directly from professionals. Fagúndez, who has played for multiple MLS teams, and Tutino, who has worked with the Galaxy for more than 27 years, wanted to fuel the self-confidence of the youths and encourage them to dream big.

The intimate conversation between Fagúndez and Tutino focused on the diverse career opportunities available in soccer and delved into their personal backgrounds and the paths that led them to professional sports. They shared their Hispanic heritage with the students encouraging them to embrace their roots and pursue their dreams with passion and resilience. As role models who have overcome obstacles on their journey to success, the professionals exposed the kids to authentic narratives and invaluable insights that added a layer of cultural significance to the dialogue.

“It was a privilege and an honor to share my story with these children,” said Fagúndez. “Being an athlete is all about focus, confidence and practice, traits everyone can benefit from and I hope that my story can help inspire confidence in these kids to be the best versions of themselves.”

The Coachella Valley is home to one of the largest farm and migrant worker communities in California, and many of the residents face economic challenges and hardships. All students in the CVUSD’s program have parents or families that had to move in and out of the area to follow seasonal agricultural work.

"We know that professional athletes can be very powerful role models for kids," said Mariah Rodriguez, Community Relations Specialist at the LA Galaxy. “Inspiring the next generation of youth goes beyond the field and through initiatives like this, we can connect and give back to the community while also motivating these kids by exposing them to the journeys of these sports professionals. We hope that they will realize that no obstacle is too great to overcome if they believe in themselves and pursue their passions with unwavering determination.”

Following the discussion, the students received LA Galaxy-branded shirts, tickets to an upcoming regular season and participated in a 60-minute soccer clinic led by Fagúndez. CVUSD’s Migrant Program also received a check donation from the LA Galaxy Foundation in the amount of $5,000.

CVUSD’s Migrant Program seeks to ensure that students from the Coachella Valley’s migrant families reach academic excellence and graduate with a high school diploma. To learn more about the program, please click here.

The LA Galaxy Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Los Angeles Galaxy, whose mission is to advance the game of soccer and use it as a vehicle for positive change throughout Southern California communities. To learn more about the LA Galaxy Foundation, please click here.