Elm City Internationals
360 Fountain St, #40
New Haven CT 06515-4030
Contact Information
Address 360 Fountain St, #40
New Haven, CT 06515-4030
Telephone (203) 506-4768 x
Fax 203-0000000
E-mail Lauren@elmcityinternationals.org

Elm City Internationals (ECI) uses soccer to engage low-income youth (mostly immigrant and refugees) with academic enrichment, college counseling, mentoring, and college follow-through  services. The end goal is for all of our students to attend and graduate from college.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2012
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Lauren Mednick
Board Chair Lauren Mednick
Board Chair Company Affiliation Elm City Internationals
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years

Elm City Internationals (ECI) uses soccer to engage low-income youth (mostly immigrant and refugees) with academic enrichment, college counseling, mentoring, and college follow-through  services. The end goal is for all of our students to attend and graduate from college.


The inspiration for Elm City Internationals came about when its founder, Lauren, worked as a teacher through a refugee agency and encountered 4, 7th grade boys who struggled academically and behaviorally.  In the spring of 2007, Lauren started a soccer team and found that these 4 boys were phenomenal soccer players and gained confidence on the soccer field. These young men also began to respect their coach, Lauren, and would seek her out after class and request additional help on their homework. Within months, these boys who had been at risk of not passing 7th grade became honor roll students.

With her four former students in mind, Lauren founded ECI in 2008.  These four students were ECI’s first members along with nine other middle school students who enjoyed soccer but needed access to educational opportunities. 

Since 2008, ECI has followed one cohort of boys from the time that they were in 7th and 8th grade.  These young men are now freshman and sophomores in college.  ECI’s student-athletes have all earned either partial or full athletic and academic scholarships to college. In 2012 ECI initiated its own scholarship fund to fill in financial gaps for all students to ensure that they all are able to attend college. ECI’s second year college students have been very successful academically and athletically and ECI’s first year college students are now following in their footsteps.

 Core Components of ECI

ECI pairs soccer with academic services and mentoring to low-income students in New Haven.  The concept of ECI is fairly simple. Since soccer is considered “the international sport” and is enjoyed by young men around the world, ECI uses soccer as a lure to create a supportive learning community for low-income adolescent boys (predominantly immigrant and refugee boys) who live in New Haven and thrive on the soccer field, but require extra academic assistance.  The end goal is for all the boys to realize their potential, be provided with strong academic foundations and ultimately graduate from college.

 Elm City Internationals provides the boys with:

  • Soccer practices and games
  • Mandatory group tutoring sessions
  • Academic enrichment curriculum (with a focus on reading and writing)
  • Field trips
  • One-on-one tutoring/mentoring sessions
  • SAT prep and college essay mentoring
  • Assistance and guidance in the college application process
  • Assistance seeking out scholarships for college
  • Provides its own scholarships to students to ensure they can attend college
  • Provides college follow-through services
2017-2019 Acomplishments

-In 2016 and 2017 ECI's eldest cohort of students who entered ECI in 2008 when they were in 7th and 8th grade graduated from college. 100% of the students in that initial cohort graduated college within 4.5 years of graduating high school.

-Each students received approximately 460 hours of reading and writing enrichment.
-ECI expanded its college partnerships and each 10th - 12th grade student went on 6-16 "official" college visits.
-All of ECI's high school seniors who applied to a college with an "early decision" option  were accepted to college "early decision" with very strong financial aid/scholarship packages. ' 
2018-2019 Goals
-Continue to strengthen our reading and writing enrichment program for middle school and high school students.
-Expand our network of college partnerships
-Secure 4-5 substantial funding sources with a 2-3 year commitment
-Work toward increasing our budget to that we could hire an additional full time staff member 
-Raise funds to hire new staff member ($45,000)
- Raise funds for Scholarship Fund ($50,000)
-Recruit volunteer mentors/tutors
*ECI is looking to find 3 substantial donors/foundations who are able to make a 3 year commitment. ECI is a very small organization and each year spends ample time trying to sustain programming.  If we are able to secure support with a multi-year commitment, we could focus more on improving programming and expanding so that we could serve more students. 
CEO Statement
Elm City Internationals' students come to New Haven from all over the world. Many of our students suffered hardship in the early part of their lives due to war or harsh economic situations. Their families came to New Haven to seek opportunities for their children.  When our children enter ECI, they are joining a second family. 
ECI students spend 20+ hours each week together playing soccer, working on reading and writing, completing community service activities, going on college visits and forming bonds with each other as well as their soccer coaches, teachers, tutors and mentors. Students enter the ECI family in as young as 5th grade and remain in the program until they graduate from college. 
One of the most rewarding aspects about ECI is that the older students naturally mentor the younger ones.  When our college students are home for breaks they come back to play soccer with the younger students and also assist them with their academic work.  It is amazing to see the dedication the older students all have to ECI, the younger generations and themselves.
 As the founder of the organization I have had the honor of watching our eldest students grow from middle school students who struggled academically and behaviorally to college graduates who are dedicated to giving back not only to their younger ECI brothers but to society.  I look forward to witnessing our younger students follow in their footsteps.  
Board Chair Statement

I am a founding board member of Elm City Internationals and, in fact, worked with the Executive Director on the viability assessment before she launched the organization. The successes are directly attributable to the unwavering commitment of Lauren Mednick and her band of volunteers: many of whom have also been involved in the organization since launch. ECI is a high touch, high impact organization with the goal of shepherding at risk young men to and through college: all indications are that we will see a 100% success rate with the first cohort. With the second cohort, it has been rewarding to see how Lauren has expanded our footprint of colleges by forging relationships with soccer programs at more and more universities. Several of our boys have received full scholarships and others generous financial aid that allowed our organization to bridge the tuition gap. Using feedback from the first cohort and advice from education experts, we have refined the academic program to be even more effective for the second and pipeline cohorts.

ECI faces the challenges faced by many non-profit organizations: funding our future operating budget. While we are fortunate to have several perennial donors, our board maintains a program of active outreach to foundations and individuals so that we can continue to build awareness of ECI and expand our donor base.

After ten years, I am still involved with this organization because I have been inspired by watching these boys grow into incredible and thoughtful young men. I also see great opportunity to scale the program that Lauren has built to impact even more children in our community.

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development /
Areas Served
New Haven

ECI’s college readiness program is broken into 3 main parts: reading and writing enrichment, college counseling, and college follow-through. 

Reading and Writing Enrichment Program

ECI’s enriching reading and writing program begins when students enter ECI in middle school.  ECI acknowledges the importance of being adept readers and writers.  Not only are reading and writing the basis of all academic subjects, but research has shown that writing skills are the number one indicator of college success.  Due to the fact that the majority of ECI’s students are non-native English speakers, the majority of students come into our program multiple years below grade level in both reading and writing, and most ECI students go to under-performing schools that are not properly challenging them, ECI has created a rigorous reading and writing program that first ensures that students understand the basic semantics of the English language and know how to communicate well both verbally and through writing.  ECI’s reading and writing enrichment program exposes students to many genres of literature and encourages analytical conversations and essays.  Additionally, we teach our students how to conduct extensive research and then organize their research into thematic essays. The ultimate goal of our reading and writing program is to ensure that students develop the knowledge, skills and curiosity to be successful in the college classroom and beyond.

Between the months of November and June students participate in ECI’s reading and writing program 10 hours each week after school.  During our 6 week summer academy, students are exposed to 20 hours of reading and writing enrichments each week.  In September and October, while students are more heavily engaged in soccer related activities, we engage students in approximately 4 hours each week of “book club”.  The emphasis of book club is really to get our students to enjoy reading, thinking analytically, and reminding them that even in the months that there is a heavier focus on soccer, that ECI is still primarily an academic program that is preparing them for college.

College Counseling

Once a student is in 10th grade, ECI initiates a more formal college readiness curriculum. Students continue to participate in ECI’s reading and writing enrichment program as well as ECI’s intensive soccer program; however, additional “college ready” services are now provided to students.  In 10th grade, ECI begins to take students on college visits and introduces students to key college admissions officers as well as college coaches.  Also, instead of participating in typical soccer tournaments, once a student is in 10th grade they attend “college showcase tournaments” which are tournaments designed specifically for students to get seen by college soccer coaches.

 In the summer between 10th and 11th grades, students take a preliminary practice SAT during the first week of ECI Summer Academy.  They are then provided with an SAT tutor to help them prepare to succeed on the SAT (most of our students take the SAT in March and June of the junior year and again in October of their senior year). 

In November of 11th grade, students work with ECI staff to construct a list of their target colleges and at that point, ECI staff starts making connections with admissions offices and setting up formal, individual visits. ECI staff takes students to the college visits and interviews. During the winter of 11th grade, ECI students also write a preliminary draft of their college essay and participate in mock college interviews.  By the summer prior to senior year ECI students have a complete list of colleges they are going to apply to as well as a plan to which school that will apply early decision to.  During students’ senior year of high school, ECI staff help students identify private college scholarships as well as apply for financial aid. Students are also provided with assistance filling out college applications. ECI also has its own scholarship fund that students can apply for during their senior year of high school that can help provide “Gap Funding” in cases where there is a gap between what financial aid and scholarships students received and what they owe the college.

College Follow-through

ECI students are all provided with follow-through services once they matriculate into college. This means that ECI students complete ECI when they graduate from college and not when they graduate from high school.  ECI students are in touch with staff at least once a week (and often more) when they are in college and staff makes sure that if any obstacles arise, the student is well equipped to take the necessary steps to get back on track.  ECI continues to provide students with the ECI Scholarship Funding throughout college. When college age students are home for school vacations, they act as tutors and mentors to the younger ECI students. 

Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. 100% of our students have graduated from college within 4.5 years of high school graduation.

ECI's Soccer Academy's goal is to pair soccer with academic services and mentoring to low-income students in New Haven.  The concept of ECI is fairly simple. Since soccer is considered “the international sport” and is enjoyed by young men around the world, ECI uses soccer as a lure to create a supportive learning community for low-income adolescent boys (predominantly immigrant and refugee boys, but not limited to this population) who live in New Haven and thrive on the soccer field, but require extra academic assistance. 

The boys participate in 10-15 hours of soccer programming throughout the school year and 20 hours in the summer. While the boys do have extensive soccer training and play in competitive soccer leagues the most important part of the soccer academy is the fact that it connects our students to their coaches and soccer supporters who also act as their teachers, tutors and mentors. Because the boys all love soccer, the sport keeps them engaged in ECI's academic programming throughout middle school, high school and college.
Additionally, 90% of our students are recruited to play soccer in college. This is a very helpful factor in the college admissions process. 
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Elm City Internationals does not only help kids get admitted to college but they commit to supporting their student-athletes until they graduate from college.  This requires providing a college scholarship program as well as follow-through support during the college years. 
  • College Scholarships: ECI works hard to ensure that all of its students are prepared academically and athletically for college but the reality is that many students still face financial challenges that can make it difficult to attend college. Therefore, ECI helps students seek out private scholarships for college. ECI has helped students receive both full academic and athletic scholarships and many have been awarded partial scholarships. In order to make sure that 100% of ECI students are able to attend college, ECI initiated its own scholarship fund, the Elm City International Scholarship Fund (“ECISF”). ECISF is designed to fill in any gaps necessary to students in our program to ensure that they can all attend college.
  • College Follow-through: All of ECI students are first generation college students. Therefore, families are going through the college process for the first time. ECI offers its students academic and personal guidance throughout college to ensure that they have they can navigate the system and graduate from college. When students come home for the summer, ECI ensures that these students have summer jobs or enriching opportunities.  We also play summer pickup soccer as a group and have a book club to promote group cohesion and extra academic support.
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees / Hispanic, Latino Heritage
CEO/Executive Director
Lauren Mednick
Term Start Nov 2008
Email lauren@elmcityinternationals.org
Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 16
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 1
Unspecified 0
ECI collaborates with Bridgeport Premier Soccer Club. Bridgeport Premier Provides our students with a premier level soccer experience and also allows them to take part in college soccer showcases.  ECI also collaborates with New Haven Parks and Recreation, Achievement First Schools, and Hopkins School who provide us with both classroom space for our academic programming and gym and field space for our soccer programming.
Board Chair
Lauren Mednick
Company Affiliation Elm City Internationals
Term Jan 2008 to Jan 2024
Board of Directors
Teo Baldwin
Samuel Gold
Zack HenryElm City Express
Maura MastonyClendenen and Shea LLC
Michelle MaysHartford Community Foundation
Sergio Olmedo Ramirez
Juan Felipe Parra
Karin RenderYale University
Alexis SmithNew Haven Legal Services
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 5
Board Co-Chair
Karin Render
Company Affiliation NA
Term Jan 2008 to Jan 2020
Email karinerender@gmail.com
Fiscal Year Start Aug 01 2018
Fiscal Year End June 30 2019
Projected Revenue $155,000.00
Projected Expenses $151,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Form 990s
Form 9902017
Form 9902016
Form 9902015
Form 9902014
Form 9902013
Form 9902012
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Tax Exempt Papers
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$50,286$10,353$25,081
Current Assets$50,286$10,353$25,081
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$50,286$10,353$25,081
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountStutzman Family Foundation $100,000Stutzman Family Foundation $50,000Stutzman Family Foundation $50,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $26,000Carolyn Foundation $21,225The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $15,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountDiana Davis Spencer Foundation $12,000The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $17,500Vranos Family Foundation $10,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 360 Fountain St, #40
New Haven, CT 065154030
Primary Phone 203 506-4768
CEO/Executive Director Lauren Mednick
Board Chair Lauren Mednick
Board Chair Company Affiliation Elm City Internationals


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