Brenda Villa Foundation

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About Brenda Villa Foundation

Established in 2020, the Brenda Villa Foundation supports individuals, community leaders, and organizations in under-resourced areas. This is achieved through microgrants aimed at promoting aquatics within these communities.

Their Mission 

The Brenda Villa Foundation is committed to enhancing water safety and fostering diversity in aquatic sports.

Their Journey 

Founder Brenda Villa began her aquatic journey at six years old with the Commerce Aquatics Club team. At eight, she followed her brother into water polo. Supported by community funding, Commerce Aquatics provided invaluable opportunities for youth in the Commerce community to learn swimming and water polo that they might not have otherwise had access to. 

As an alum of Commerce Aquatics, Brenda won a national championship at Stanford University, spent 16 years on the United States national water polo team, and earned four Olympic medals, including a gold in the 2012 Olympics. This was possible because Brenda had access to a pool and skilled coaches who taught her the fundamentals.

After retiring from her athletic career, Brenda co-founded Project 2020, a non-profit promoting water safety in East Menlo Park, CA. After positively impacting hundreds of children in her local community, Brenda joined forces with fellow aquatics advocates Kyle Utsumi and Kelsey Holshouser to extend their reach to under-resourced communities nationwide.

Inspired by Brenda’s experiences in the Commerce, CA community, the trio launched the Brenda Villa Foundation with the aim of transforming aquatics in under-resourced areas.

Their Achievements 

In 2011, they established Project 2020, a non-profit organization that offers low-income youths in the San Francisco mid-peninsula region the opportunity to learn swimming and water polo.

Their ultimate goal was to shift the narrative in our community, and they are proud to report that they assisted over 500 kids in East Menlo Park, a disadvantaged community in Northern California, in learning these essential skills.

While Project 2020 was a resounding success, primarily impacting one community, the Brenda Villa Foundation is setting its sights higher. They aspire to expand Project 2020’s mission to communities all across the United States.

Brenda Villa Foundation Highlights

There are 3 main services that the Brenda Villa Foundation offers in order to facilitate change in communities:

  1. Individual Grants

The Brenda Villa Foundation offers grants ranging from $100 to $500 to individuals in underserved communities, aiming to alleviate the financial challenges associated with participating in aquatics. These grants can be utilized for various purposes, such as covering the costs of water safety courses or team membership fees, among other related expenses.

  1. Organization Grants

The Brenda Villa Foundation acknowledges the presence of other groups in underserved communities across the United States working to address issues like limited access to pools and insufficient funds for aquatic programs. To support long-term change in these communities, the Brenda Villa Foundation offers grants ranging from $500 to $5,000.

  1. Community Services

With a combined experience of over 75 years in the aquatics community as athletes, coaches, and ambassadors, the Brenda Villa Foundation has developed expertise in creating and running successful programs. Leveraging their knowledge, the Brenda Villa Foundation provides services to assist in planning and establishing sustainable aquatics programs in underserved communities.

Their vibe is wonderful!

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Brenda Villa Foundation In the Press

Brenda Villa Named to Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees

The USA Water Polo organization highlighted an exciting update in the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees. Brenda Villa is a renowned figure in women’s water polo, having captained the USA Water Polo Women’s National Team and competed in four Olympic Games, consistently winning medals. Despite her small stature at five feet, four inches, she became a dominant presence in the sport, earning accolades like three-time FINA World Champion and the Cutino Award for the best college player while at Stanford University. Beyond her playing career, Brenda Villa has remained actively involved in the sport through coaching, governance roles, and co-founding the Brenda Villa Foundation, which aims to promote water safety and diversity in aquatic sports.

Read more here: https://usawaterpolo.org/news/2023/1/11/general-brenda-villa-named-to-womens-sports-foundation-board-of-trustees.aspx

Olympic Water Polo Legend Brenda Villa is on a Mission

Brenda Villa was interviewed by En Fuego Now and discussed her childhood, water polo, and the Brenda Villa Foundation. Read more here: https://www.enfuegonow.com/news/olympic-water-polo-legend-brenda-villa-is-on-a-mission