Former Twins manager Frank Quilici will be the main speaker at the celebration of the 21st anniversary of the National Youth sports Program at St. Thomas on Friday, Oct. 28. NYSP, the first of the summer youth programs at UST, provides academics and sports programming, transportation, two meals a day and a nurse on duty for low income students ages 10 to 16 years old from St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The event will be held in the Binz Dining Room on the university’s south campus in St. Paul. Registration and a silent auction will open the evening at 5:30 p.m. with an hors d’oeuvres buffet, created by national award-winning chef Andrew Casale, and with music, starting at 6 p.m.

“We picked Mr. Quilici to speak not only because he is the only person who has served as a player, coach and manager for the Twins,” said Bob Brown, professor emeritus of education and faculty liaison to the programs, “but more so because of his longtime commitment to youth.”

Because of the success of the NYSP, St. Thomas has partnered with East Metro Integration District (EMID) since 2003 to provide NYSP-type programming as part of the integration activities in the East Metro Area. Last year this program was expanded to include language and culture camps for elementary students.

“We have found these programs to not only be beneficial to the participants, but they also have enriched the education of our teacher education students who do field experience with us. Through our various programs we have provided services to more than 7,000 young people in the area since 1991,” Brown said.

The challenges to continuing the youth programs are great as the national funding that had supported NYSP (here and on 205 other campuses across the country) disappeared in 2006. By 2010 St. Thomas was one of 19 institutions continuing the program using local resources. This has been possible because of the strong support from Dean Bruce Kramer, faculty and staff members, foundation support, and partnerships with school districts and community organizations.

“However, we still need additional help, which is why we are having this event to raise awareness and some financial support,” Brown continued. “We need members of the St. Thomas community to attend and help impress others in attendance of the need to continue serving these low-income and diverse populations. Please encourage your colleagues and friends to attend, especially those who work with youth education, crime prevention, diversity, community relations and other related fields. This is a good opportunity to network with people of similar interests from education, government, business and community organizations.”

This event provides an opportunity to learn about the youth programs from staff and students as well as the materials that will be on display. Cost is $25 per person to cover expenses.

To register or for more information contact Brown, (651) 962-4992, or send a check to: UST-NYSP, MOH 217, 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403.