'Through soccer, we're going to teach girls how to be leaders'

EUGENE, Ore. -- A South Eugene High junior is getting a first-hand look at how soccer, the world's most popular sport, can do good things on a global scale.

Semilla Stripp has been playing soccer since she was 3 years old. Her hard work and dedication to the sport paid off, as she was chosen as one of 11 female soccer players to represent her country on a trip to India through the Goals For Girls program.

Goals For Girls is an empowerment group based in Washignton, D.C.

"We're going to run soccer clinics, and through soccer we're going to teach girls how to be leaders in their community how to effect change themselves so they can become leaders once we leave," said Stripp.

The girls will be joined by Cindy Parlow, a world cup winner and two time Olympic gold-medalist who now is the head coach of the Portland Thorns.

"Right now it seems so surreal," Stripp told our news team. "I'm really nervous actually to go because I've never experienced anything like this before. At the same time I'm so excited to potentially make a huge difference in girls' lives."

Semilla's mom, Tris O'Shaughnessy, has been by her daughter's side for the whole ride. She said she couldn't be more proud.

"Its hard work it's probably gonna be one of the most difficult things she's ever done. Actually that she has ever done," Tris said.

Stripp said the Goals For Girls group is holding a fundraiser from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Cosmic Pizza.