TRUMBULL \u2014 Not all teen athletes would sacrifice a meal to make pottery, but Matthew Wich has done it multiple times. The Trumbull High School junior and soccer player has loved ceramics since he took a class in it freshman year. \u201cLast year, I was skipping lunches to go to the pottery room to throw pieces,\u201d Wich said. \u201cYou can always improve. You can always learn more.\u201d His love of ceramics has led him to craft roughly 30 pieces. While he loves to create, Wich soon realized that there could be a greater purpose for his passion. During his sophomore year, he began applying for 501 (c)(3) status for a nonprofit that eventually became Ceramics for Soccer. Through the program, Wich sells his ceramics pieces to raise money for the Aspiras Foundation, which provides gear and monetary donations to soccer clubs in the Dominican Republic. So far, Wich said, he has sold 11 pieces and raised about $500 between sales and other donations. He came up with the fundraiser as a way to merge two things he loves \u2014 ceramics and soccer \u2014 to help others. \u201cDevelopment and developing countries is something I\u2019ve learned a lot about in school,\u201d Wich said. Wich added that he\u2019s also learned that soccer can be a valuable outlet for young people in developing countries. The Aspiras Foundation web site echoes this idea, telling the story of how the nonprofit began with two Western Michigan University students collecting soccer gear for clubs in low-income areas of the Dominican Republic. \u201cBy investing our time and efforts into educating and providing unprecedented opportunity in any way we can to the children of soccer clubs within developing communities, we hope to empower them to aspire for great goals and achievement,\u201d the site reads. \u201cThe future of developing areas in the Dominican Republic rests in the hands of the children, so we want to give them the tools to bring positive change to their communities.\u201d Soccer has always been an important part of Wich\u2019s life too. He said he started playing in Trumbull\u2019s American Youth Soccer Organization when he was 4 or 5 years old. \u201cI\u2019ve played ever since,\u201d he said, adding that he now plays on the Trumbull High soccer team. Once he learned about Aspiras, and the role that soccer can play in molding kids\u2019 lives, he wanted to help. And ceramics seemed like a good way a to do it, Wich said. \u201cA lot of people have said this is a great venture for me,\u201d he said. Among those supporting him is his ceramics teacher Trevor Youngberg, who said he\u2019s enjoyed watching Wich\u2019s passion for ceramics grow over the years. \u201cMatt immediately took to the wheel and showed a keen interest in mastering the basic skills of centering, pulling and shaping clay on the potter's wheel,\u201d Youngberg said. \u201cOnce Matt gained an ability to meet and surpass the forms that resided in his minds eye, he was hooked.\u201d Youngberg said he\u2019s watched with interest as Wich has used ceramics as the cornerstone of his nonprofit. \u201cI\u2019m proud to witness Matt\u2019s personal and creative development as he pursues his gifts and passions,\u201d he said. Wich said he\u2019ll continue with Ceramics for Soccer as long as he can \u2014 or at least as long as he has access to a pottery studio. \u201cI have no intention of ever letting this end unless I have to,\u201d he said.