Champions of Change
Elmer Arias is a Salvadoran-American citizen who leads the Futbol Positivo (Positive Soccer) project in Fairfax County, Virginia. Futbol Positivo began three years ago when the Fairfax Police Department contacted Mr. Arias to build a bridge with the growing Latino Community, affected by a high crime rate among children and teenagers. The crime rate in the area dropped after Elmer began organizing soccer tournaments in Fairfax County, and the program has been extended to places like Springfield, Reston and Culmore. He also works as a president of the Foundation for Educational and Cultural Development (FUPEC, in Spanish), which teams up with hometown Salvadorans associations in the United States and private companies to help public schools in poor areas in El Salvador with computers and basic infrastructure.