Djibril's Barca Academy Dream

$19,550 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 6 months
Created July 28, 2017
Djibril's soccer journey has been quite a wild ride since five years ago, when he stepped back onto the field as an out-of-shape 11-year-old who hadn't played in two years. His FC Boulder coach spotted goalkeeper potential, and very reluctantly Djibril agreed to give it a try. 

Since then that's been all he's wanted to do. Fast forward five years past an amazing series of successes -- CO State Cup championship, WCDA western region all-star team, ODP championship all-tournament team, ODP Region IV final pool, Colorado high school state champion with Boulder High, all-state as a sophomore, Rapids Development Academy, USA Today preseason All-American as a junior and more -- to the culmination of all those years of hard work, the Barca Academy!

The Barca Academy is FC Barcelona's first residential academy in the US, opening at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, AZ, and Djibril has been invited to be in its first crop of players, which is a HUGE honor and opportunity. He's still pinching himself. 

He needs help realizing this dream, though. The annual tuition is $69,500 (details of everything that covers is below).  Of that the Barca Academy has generously offered us a $45,000 scholarship, reducing the amount we need to pay to $25,000.  I'm absolutely committed to making this dream a reality, but I'm a single mom of two, my other son is about to start college, and there really isn't much in the coffers. We need to make our first $5000 payment by August 7th.  

Tuition covers his residency, team meals that are nutritionally balanced for an athlete, experienced coaching and training at the number one training facility in the country, strength and conditioning training, training gear, tutoring and academic support, college recruitment assistance, NCAA eligibility counseling, SAT/ACT prep, team travel and team transportation, tournament and tournament registration fees. 

He'll also attend a top level charter high school located on the academy campus - Arizona State University Prep High School. ASU is a Cambridge Curriculum school that offers rigorous, student-centered and innovative program of study, and provides an excellent education for the academy students.

This could be absolutely life-changing for Djibril, who has really struggled with balancing his rigorous soccer schedule with school, jobs, etc. This academy would provide the structure, integration and support that could allow him to realize his full potential and thrive as a soccer player, student, and all-around human being, not to mention getting him that much closer to his dream of playing soccer in college and professionally. We're incredibly grateful for any help he can get making this dream a reality!

If you'd prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, checks can be made payable to Grande Sports World Foundation and mailed directly to:

Francisco Grande / Barça Academy
Att: Accounting Dept/GSW Foundation
12684 W Gila Bend Highway
Casa Grande AZ 85193 

Please include a note that the donation is to be earmarked for Djibril Doumbia's tuition. No amount is too small! Donations to the Foundation will be added to the GoFundMe total so the total of this campaign reflects all fundraising.

The link below is to a letter from the Barca Academy soliciting sponsorship for Djibril. We'd be so grateful if you could pass this on to anyone you know who might have the means and interest in helping a kid realize this kind of life-changing dream. 


In gratitude,
Katrina and Djibril

More info:

Djibril's highlight video from his 20-0 championship Boulder High season last fall: 


More info on the Barca Academy:


More info on the Grande Sports World Foundation:

​​Grande Sports World Foundation awards scholarships to talented, deserving and passionate student-athletes who share the core values of honesty, integrity, respect, commitment, discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship.

Grande Sports World Foundation's scholarships assist these elite student-athletes in maximizing their abilities and achieving their full athletic, academic and personal potential, thereby earning college scholarships.
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Unbelievable -- we're within $7500 of Djibril's dream being completely funded!!! We've added in the funds donated directly to the Grande Sports World Foundation and will continue to do so as we get confirmation of those donations, so this GoFundMe total should reflect the total raised.

"Gobsmacked" probably isn't too strong a word for our reaction to everyone's amazing support and generosity -- we were putting a lot of faith in our village and in human goodness in general when we sent him down there, since even with a side job or three it would have been quite a stretch for us, but now we're pretty close to the realm of possible, even with his older brother's college costs factored in. Thank you all for confirming our faith in human goodness -- we all need as much of that as possible right now, eh?

So Djibril has now been down at the academy for a few weeks and says he loves it down there! He says the training is amazing and there's been a lot of it -- they had two-a-day practices all last week, with the first practice starting at 5:45am! He's also getting used to being in a stricter, more regimented school (uniforms, no phones during the school day, etc.). He's learning a lot and has all A's so far, which is a first for him! Not only that, but he feels confident he can keep that up, which would also be a first and pretty darn exciting. He's been making friends, eating and sleeping well and is just so thrilled to have this opportunity, so thank you again to everyone who has helped make this possible.

Here's an article from last Sunday's Boulder Daily Camera about Djibril's big leap (thanks Jon Yunt!) http://www.bocopreps.com/fall-sports/boyssoccer/ci_31195142/boys-soccer-doumbia-fulfilling-dream-at-fc-barcelona and here's a link to his fundraising narrative we've included in emails, which we'll also try to keep updated: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qmL2ZDr8L5mY9EVOOTWqtn05s6K9Rx_DNHzYwlcs8B4/edit?usp=sharing

Also, various folks have asked what happens next year, Djibril's senior year. The hope is that he'd do well there this year and be invited back for next year, at which point he'd be on the U-19 Development Academy team. Since the Barca Academy bases scholarships on team, roster and position, as well as grades (which should be improving!), talent (which should also be improving!), and family income, we think he'd have a much better chance of getting a full scholarship next year. There should also additional scholarship funds for DA players through the USSF that he'd be eligible for next year. So the good news is that we anticipate this being a one-time fundraising ask, thank goodness!!!

Katrina and Djibril
Locker faceplate -- he's official!!!
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We are thrilled to say that not only did we make the leap of faith that this would all work out and send Djibril down to AZ in time for school to start Tuesday, but that thanks to the generosity of folks here on his GoFundMe, I was able to put the first payment -- $5000 tuition, $1000 deposit and $400 application fee -- in the mail yesterday. I may have gotten a bit teary putting that envelope in the mailbox (it's been happening a lot lately), since it's really touching to me how Djibril's village has come through to support this opportunity of a lifetime for him.

They're keeping Djibril pretty busy down at the Academy, but I'm keeping him updated on all the donations and support and he sends his heartfelt gratitude for all those helping him down the path towards his dream.

-Katrina and Djibril
First payment on its way!
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WOW! That's all we can say is wow, what amazing support from Djibril's village, which is starting to grow and include folks we haven't even met! We are definitely feelin' the love!

We now have enough for the first $5K payment, and almost enough for the $1000 deposit and $400 admissions fee as well, which is SUCH a huge relief.

For future months, we will just need to pay $2K/month for 10 months, starting 9/1, which seems much more doable. We still have a ways to go, but getting over that first payment hurdle makes it all seem possible, and we are so grateful!

-Katrina and Djibril
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You guys are amazing! We're steadily marching towards the end goal and more importantly, are halfway towards the $5K we need to pay on Aug 7 -- we can't thank you enough!

Please keep sharing this on to anyone who might be interested in helping fund a life-changing opportunity for a 16-year-old, and thank you!

-Katrina and Djibril
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$19,550 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 6 months
Created July 28, 2017
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