L.A.C.E.S. Blog

Press Release: L.A.C.E.S. coach receives Billy Jean King Youth Leadership Award

Photo Credit: ESPN Images

Takoma Park, MD – L.A.C.E.S. (Life and Change Experiences thru Sports) congratulates coach Holly Wilson (pictured above green dress) on receiving the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award at ESPN’s seventh annual Sports Humanitarian Awards. The award celebrates and honors young people using sport to catalyze change and make a positive impact on society.

“Holly is a mentor, coach, and advocate for the refugee youth she works for in the greater Washington D.C. area,” said Seren Fryatt, L.A.C.E.S founder and Executive Director. “She embodies the best of what sport can mean and she is making a difference both on the field and off.”

L.A.C.E.S. is a 501c3 non-profit that leverages the power of sport to mentor youth and empower local communities, while fostering life skills and leadership development in the lives of hundreds of at-risk youth, refugees and street children around the world. Activities that have reached more than 3,000 young people, with plans to double program reach in the next two years.

Ms. Wilson, from Germantown, Maryland, started volunteering with L.A.C.E.S in 2019, as a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She works in Prince George’s County, Maryland, engaging refugee youth and overcoming language barriers through soccer. While playing, young people from Afghanistan, Syria, Eriteria, Rwanda, Congo, and Tanzania come together as a team. In June 2021, Holly implemented a city-wide soccer festival to bring refugee and non-refugee players together to foster connection through sport and support cross-cultural understanding.

“I am incredibly honored to be an honoree of this prestigious award,” Ms. Wilson said. “When I began my journey of volunteering with L.A.C.E.S. I was eager to share my passion for soccer while empowering at-risk kids, but I never imagined my impact would lead me to where I am today. I am overwhelmed with inspiration and determination to continue making positive changes, building future leaders, and spreading L.A.C.E.S. mission”.

Wilson was among six inspirational young people to receive the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, established in 2019 to recognize high school or college-age students making a difference in their communities through sport. She plans to continue coaching with L.A.C.E.S. while studying to become a physician’s assistant.

For more information on L.A.C.E.S. visit www.laces.org and at Lacesport on Instagram and Twitter and L.A.C.E.S. on Facebook.


For press inquiries:
Contact: Seren Fryatt