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National Honoree

Photo of National Honoree Luiza dos Santos Travassos

Luiza dos Santos Travassos

Brazil

Luiza dos Santos Travassos, 15, of Rio de Janeiro, a second-grade high school student at Eleva School, created an initiative that donates soccer balls to young female sports enthusiasts in her city, and has served a prominent and inspiring young voice in the sports world. Luiza has always been passionate about soccer. She noticed that, when she shared this love and her story on social media, many girls were moved to come talk to her about their fears and dreams. The experience inspired her to volunteer to write for an espnW blog aimed at the female audience and giving lectures for events for girls, such as Força Meninas and Voe Mulher. She has always liked donating things, and given her relationship with sports, she decided to donate balls for girls. In 2017, she participated in Click Esperança, encouraging other young people in Brazil to support Criança Esperança, a well-known program for collecting donations in Brazil, and created the Uma Bola Causa Project that distributed balls in a community in her city as an incentive to participate in sports.

In 2017, Luiza was named one of the 100 most inspiring women in the world by BBC London and, in 2019, she was invited by FIFA to participate in the EPF Equal Playing Field event, where together with her group she entered the Guinness Book as the most popular soccer game throughout history, calling attention to equality in sport.