The New York Red Bulls and Southern New Hampshire University hosted local high school students as part of their Rompe Las Barreras (Break Through The Barriers) program. Students were able to tour Red Bull Arena, host informational interviews with various members of the staff, shadow different departments to see how they work and hear from Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Joseph Stetson.
Select students from Newark, New Jersey high school were able to visit Red Bull Arena to participate in Rompe Las Barreras, and held question and answer sessions with Andrew Panos, Director of Finance, Jamie Ponce, Director of Business Operations for New York Red Bulls II, Bill Wissweser, Senior Director of Operations and Broadcast, and Andrew Vazzano, Senior Manager of Digital and Social Media. Students also toured Red Bull Arena, including visiting the control room with Rich Kauffman, Senior Manager of Game Presentation, and visiting the Sales department, with Joe Delchop, Premium Sales Executive.
“It’s a big passion of mine to bring someone young, hungry and trying to get into the sports industry to let them know the route I took and help them become successful,” Ponce said. “To give these students the time and the opportunity to learn what we do on a daily basis, it’s an experience they can take with them and give them some motivation to work for our club and our league in the very near future.”
The day ended with Stetson speaking to the students about the possibilities of working in sports, networking and focusing on career pathways available to them.
“Exposing our students from a Hispanic background with all these great opportunities, from marketing to sales, to just having that experience that they need in the real world,” Ivone Neto, Vice Principal Innovative Programs East Side High School said. “It’s the best thing you can offer a child. Having that real life experience allows them step out of their comfort zone and exposes what real life is going to be after high school and in their careers.”
Rompe Las Barreras hopes to combat high dropout rates among Hispanic students and committing to provide access to Hispanic high school students the proper pathways and insights into graduating and pursuing fulfilling careers.
“I hope they go home and really think about everything they heard and process everything that they too could be sitting in one of these offices within the next couple of years,” Neto said.