Help Jorge fulfill his dreams and travel to Italy!

Meet Jorge: The RISE 6th Grade Student That Is Headed to Italy

Nick Tilley is in his second year teaching at Memphis RISE Academy. Originally from Knoxville, Nick joined Teach For America to discover more of what Tennessee had to offer and tap into Memphis’s big-city, small-town vibes. All while encouraging and equipping the young minds of Memphians. 

When Mr. Tilley is not in the classroom, he’s taking the field as a coach for the most popular sports team at RISE Academy, the boy’s soccer team. Last spring, over 50 boys tried out for the middle school team, so the selected 23 are almost unstoppable. 

Amongst this team of rambunctious boys, Jorge Ruiz has been a force to be reckoned with on and off the field. 

For only being in 6th grade, Jorge stands out for his versatility. “He can read the game very well for his age and understand so many complexities,” Nick told us. “He is determined for excellence not just on the field, but in everything he does.” 

When not on the field, Jorge is a hardworking and humble student who pushes for academic excellence. When Nick first encountered Jorge in his classroom, he thought he was a quiet and calm student.  

Jorge Ruiz

"The school year quickly showed me four things: Jorge was brilliant, kind to everyone he encountered, wasn't nearly as quiet as I thought, and that he loved soccer." 

Nick Tilley

Mission: School Sports

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This past summer, Juventus held a USA soccer camp in Memphis for talented youngins’. By winning an essay competition held at school thanks to two generous donors,  Jorge was one of two to attend this once and lifetime camp.

Juventus is a professional football club based out of Piedmont, Italy. They compete in Serie A, which is the top tier in the Italian football system. 

Nick learned that the coaches would select the top performers from the Memphis camp to travel to Italy for the Juventus USA Travel Program.

Jorge continued surpassing everyone’s expectations and got invited to travel to Italy!

This March, Jorge will get the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase his skill set as a member of the Juventus USA Travel Program in Italy.

But, he needs our help to get there .

Jorge Ruiz, The Next Lionel Messi

This camp is a unique, amazing experience for Jorge as he’ll train under some of the top coaches in the world, watch matches for Italy’s top teams, and get the chance to immerse into the culture.

“This camp is every player’s dream, and I can’t think of a student more deserving than Jorge,” Tilley stated. “He fully encompasses the phrase student-athlete. Some push themselves either one way or the other. Jorge pushes himself in both directions. Strives for excellence in the classroom and on the field.”

However, as you can imagine, this experience comes at quite a cost.

 The experience and flight cost will be about $4,500 for Jorge to attend.

Luckily, Jorge has a teacher that truly believes in his capabilities. Nick Tilley has created a GoFundMe to raise money to cover the travel expenses for Jorge’s family. 

We hope you can contribute to helping this young Memphian fulfill his dreams and travel to Italy this March. 

"This opportunity will allow me to see a place that I have not seen before. Additionally, it will give me the opportunity to become a better soccer player. On top of that, I will get the chance to perform and play in front of others."

Jorge Ruiz
Coach Nick and Jorge

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