It may be 2019, but the idea of the “soccer mom” still inspires plenty of stereotypes.
Now meet Mayra Stevenson, who will likely break those.
Stevenson has a full-time job at a bank, has a 4-year-old son named Ezra, and is a director at The 3252, serving as the treasurer for Los Angeles Football Club’s Independent Supporters’ Union.
In an exclusive interview with Angels on Parade on Friday, Stevenson discussed her involvement in The 3252 and balancing that with her other roles.
A soccer fan from childhood, she explained her Mexican immigrant household followed El Tri and Chivas, the club her father followed in his native Guadalajara. After meeting her husband Monty, a well-known member of The 3252 as well, at church, the couple got married and within a couple years, Ezra came along.
In the Stevenson family, the sport is truly a shared pursuit.
“He really loves it,” she explained, speaking of her son’s involvement at games. “This season, he’s really gotten more comfortable with being in the North End. Last year we sat up where the handicapped seats were and we’d just jump, because it was too loud for him in the front, so last season I was up there with him. But this season he wants to be waving the biggest flag possible or drumming with his dad. It’s like one half he’s front and center, the other half he’s drumming with his dad.”
But with her background dealing with finances, Stevenson was called upon to help The 3252, a non-profit organization, with their books and she made a bigger commitment to help the group on that front.
“I help with the managing of the funds, I’m the treasurer of The 3252. My whole involvement is very much behind the scenes, I make sure whatever needs to get done gets paid for, make sure we’re balancing, making sure we push our memberships, merch, to drive the force behind The 3252, and that’s to make tifos, banners in the North End, to have different kinds of opportunities to give back to the community, where we focus on making sure we get the money going in the right places,” she said. “So that’s what I help do. I’ve been part of The 3252 since the inception, I would say, via my husband. He was very involved from the beginning and I was there in support. And last year an opportunity opened up for me to help – they were looking for someone to help doing the financial aspect of it and I work in a bank and I volunteered my services. I only expected to do it for a short period of time and now it’s been a year.”
While the family is fully immersed in supporter culture, Stevenson acknowledged finding a balance in her own life could be challenging.
“Honestly, I have no idea sometimes [how I manage],” she said with a laugh, “to be quite honest with you. I work full time. My days off, I try to do as much as I can. And it’s kind of an as I’m needed basis. Whenever something happens within The 3252 I’ll go and update it right away and I can do it from my phone, it’s just something very simple to make sure I have the simplicity to do it that way, so that it’s easy for me to just keep it up to date.
“As far as home life the three of us are all-in, so it’s kind of incorporated in our family time as well. So finding a good balance, I don’t know we just make it happen and we always find ourselves talking about LAFC, The 3252 stuff, when we’re not focused on Ezra’s schooling, because he’s at school and stuff. It’s just finding that perfect balance, I guess.”
On a broader scale, Stevenson noted that much of the vital labor done by women behind the scenes is often not given attention.
“Honestly, I think what the women do for The 3252, sometimes you don’t see it. The other [female] director I work with is in charge of memberships, that’s Lindsay Ivins. You don’t see what we do, we’re not on the capo stand, but it is a lot of work and I think sometimes it’s underestimated. So just keep that in mind, there is a full powerhouse running behind The 3252’s success.”
“...There’s also people behind the scenes making sure we can have those things like banners or tifos, that’s the big expense,” she continued. “So there’s a lot of organizational things that we need to work on to make those things happen. We have fun with this, it’s also something we enjoy doing, as a mom in this, honestly I see it’s shaping the future within The 3252 through my son. He’s very into this.”
And when it comes to MLS, the perception is often that young, single adults lead supporter culture and do the work to provide an atmosphere, while families, including mothers and their children, sit to the side and stay out of that fray.
Stevenson said that not only is that perception false, her family is far from the only one to be so active LAFC’s supporters groups.
“It’s just nice to see that – it is welcoming to families and welcoming to kids to be in the North End, and I think that’s been something that’s been misunderstood on a larger perspective because they think ‘Well they’re just crazy, they’re just there to sing.’ You can incorporate kids in there, too. You see us in the North End, some of the moms I’ve seen standing on the rails with their children, both of them going crazy.”
She even noted the example of a friend, who has a young child and makes accommodations and still gets involved, in a culture that is indeed welcoming for women and moms.
“One thing I wanted to say, too, is I’ve seen is for example, I’m going to shout out my friend Lia Torres, who’s in Cuervos, who’s been there since the beginning. But she brings her daughter and she’ll put those little headphones to muffle the sound. So it shouldn’t discourage anyone from bringing them. I don’t know what it’s like in England or anywhere but I’ve seen videos where it’s like the man goes to the game and the mom stays home but no, bring the kids, put them in those headphones,” she said.
“We need to shape our future and don’t be afraid – there’s a large group of women, of moms in the North End, so don’t ever feel like you can’t come.”
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