EDINBURG - The University of Texas-Pan American National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) recently received the Meritorious Award from the National Collegiate Athletic Association for an outstanding youth program.
NYSP is a federally funded program through the NCAA that focuses on assisting economically disadvantaged youth develop self-esteem and goals through athletics.
"Each year, this program is judged by how well the program is run," said Layne W. Jorgensen, PhD, chair of the Department of Health and Kinesiology at UTPA. "Out of 190 colleges and universities which receive this grant, UTPA was one of the 20 selected as being outstanding."
Approximately 400 children between the ages of 10 and 16 from across the Rio Grande Valley spend afternoons on campus for about five weeks each summer developing their self-esteem and future goals through educational courses and athletic sports, such as basketball, tennis and swimming.
"The goal of this program is to take these kids off the street and away from drugs and crime, while at the same time give them a chance to see what life is like on a university campus," Jorgensen said.
The program is free to the participants.
For more information about NYSP, contact Jorgensen at 956/381-3502. ###