Soar Detroit provides literacy tutoring and sports, to foster life-changing relationships and help kids flourish.
Our long-term vision is to turn Detroit’s literacy rate upside down, promote healthy community in our city, and see kids come to know Jesus.
Soar Detroit was founded in 1999 by Doug Kempton, at that time operating under the name of Eagle Sports Club. With a strong passion to reach Detroit families with the gospel, Eagle Sports Club launched its first soccer league at Balduck Park with just over 60 kids and a heart to build life-changing relationships in communities.
What started as 60 playing soccer in the spring became 145 in the fall, with participation growing from there. Soon after, there were nearly 2,000 kids playing sports in a given year, with leagues now including baseball, flag football, and indoor and outdoor soccer. Throughout these years of growth, Soar Detroit was able to bring huge improvements to Balduck Park, including the UAW Ford Championship baseball field, state of the art lights, scoreboard, irrigation, and batting/pitching cages.
In 2005, the team introduced Soar, a literacy program for kids on Detroit’s east side, with just 15 students. Since then the program has served about 150 kids per year, with each child's reading improving by an average of 2 grade levels in each year of tutoring.
In 2016, based on the proven results of the existing programs, Doug and the board agreed it was time to grow the programs and impact of the organization. At the same time, churches around the Detroit area began meeting intentionally to consider how to best work together for the good of their city while remembering the 50th anniversary of the Detroit uprisings in 2017. The timing was perfect. Soar Detroit hired a new leader, Matt Mancinelli, who is passionate about serving Detroit and is equipped to take the organization to the next level. In 2017, Soar Detroit partnered with the Detroit Public Schools Community District to provide tutoring during the school day at three elementary schools. This program has been expanded into the following school years as well.
We are grateful for our history but most excited about what lies ahead.