Being part of the Fugees means more than playing soccer: it is a lifestyle—good grades, good behavior, and good friendships are all part of the game.
Last Thursday at noon, students filled the Student Center ballroom to hear the keynote speech of UVU’s “Outcasts Speak” week from Luma Mufleh, head coach and founder of The Fugees Family organization, which helps provide organized soccer, academic tutoring, and plenty of support to refugee youth from around the world who live in an area near Atlanta, Georgia.
UVU Freshmen should already be familiar with Mufleh. She and her team of young refugees are the subjects of this year’s Freshman Reading Program book: “Outcasts United” by Warren St. John.
Mufleh took the stage looking the part of a soccer coach: she sported a short haircut, jeans, a track jacket, and sneakers. She was smiling but admitted she was nervous. Getting a laugh from the audience, she said she was much better at giving half-time talks than public speeches. Mufleh then went on to tell the story of her life: from privileged childhood in Jordan to college and a new life in the US, from bankruptcy and no direction to soccer coach and non-profit entrepreneur.
Mufleh shared that two of the driving forces in her life are entrepreneurship and a sense of right and wrong. She uses these forces in her work with the Fugees and believes in challenging the youth she works with to succeed. According to Mufleh, “If you set the bar really high, they will live up to it.”