Minnesota leaders from government, education, business and professional sports will join the University of St. Thomas in celebrating 20 years of shaping young scholar athletes through its nationally recognized academic and athletic summer camps.
The National Youth Sports Program and the Cultural, Academic and Athletic Program 20thanniversary celebration will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, at the Binz Refectory on St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus.
The celebration, open to the public, will include a keynote address from Pro Football Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel on the value of education. McDaniel, a former Minnesota Vikings standout, now works with second graders in a local school’s special education program. McDaniel will be joined by Joey Browner, one of the great Vikings defensive stars of all time.
The evening also will honor Dr. Robert Brown, St. Thomas professor emeritus and former state senator, who launched the program in 1991.
In regognition of the programs’ success, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared Oct. 29 St. Thomas NYSP Day in the State of Minnesota.
Tickets are $20 per person and include the keynote presentation, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and a silent auction. To register by mail, send a check (made out to UST-NYSP) to NYSP, MOH217, 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403. To register by e-mail contact Cali Nelson. To register by phone, leave a voicemail at (612) 616-8844. To learn more, visit www.stthomas.edu/education.
Charged with the mission to promote lifelong learning, access to higher education, and the development of healthy lifestyle choices, NYSP and the CAAP served more than 500 10- to 16-year-old youth this summer from the St. Paul and Minneapolis Public School Districts, as well as the east metro suburban schools.
The day camps are certified alternative learning centers and provide round-trip bus transportation, breakfast, lunch and materials – all at no cost to underserved and struggling families. Historically, more than 90 percent of campers come from low-income households and more than 80 percent from communities of color.
“For 20 years, the NYSP has been giving kids a safe, secure place to learn and grow in the summertime. It is a program that remains viable and relevant, and we hope the celebration will help to generate interest and resources to help us continue to grow this vital service for the kids of the Twin Cities,” said Dr. Bruce Kramer, Dean of the St. Thomas School of Education and Graduate School of Professional Psychology.
The NYSP began as a national program in 1969 and has operated at St. Thomas since 1991, specifically to serve Minneapolis at-risk youth. To meet community needs, the NYSP used the same curriculum to create the CAAP in 2005 to serve disadvantaged youth from the St. Paul public schools and the eastern suburbs. They are now combined and operated through the University of St. Thomas School of Education