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Current, former college athletes looking to mentor youth through recruitment process

soccer AP
Posted at 8:27 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 07:42:29-04

Joey Lujan and Harrison Brown are living their dream.

“It's the most amazing feeling ever,” said Lujan.

“It’s the best thing in the world, I’m super fortunate to be one,” said Brown.

Both play college soccer on scholarship but tell ABC15 that achieving the accomplishment can be complicated no matter how hard you train physically at your craft.

“A lot of people don’t understand the recruitment process,” said Lujan.

“You can never be prepared enough, you never know, there’s a lot of unknowns in the recruitment process that we hope to find the knowns for,” said Brown.

That’s why they’ve joined up with Next Step Mentoring, a Valley organization helping young athletes navigate the hurdles of getting to the next level.

“The mentors are giving families and the aspiring student-athletes tips on how to promote themselves, how to market themselves,” said company president Mario Diaz.

Diaz says the service provides affordable, firsthand knowledge from men and women who’ve been through the recruitment gauntlet themselves.

“Each sport has its own type of recruiting system so that’s why our next step mentoring has a variety of athletes from different sports from community colleges to Division I, II, III, and NAIA,” said Diaz.

“I was fortunate enough to have parents that really helped me through the entire process,” said Lujan.

But the Kansas State striker says she knows full well how many aren’t so lucky.

“I wanted to give those kids who don’t have that opportunity, I wanted to help them, walk them through the process, make a plan, list out their goals for them,” said Lujan.

Most of all, it provides youth with a good example. They're mentors who inspire success both on and off the field, giving youngsters just enough lift to reach for the stars.

“You should always believe in yourself, don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or you can’t do it,” said Brown.