Athletics & Beyond is a nonprofit organization that is intrinsically designed to increase and expand the educational trajectories of Denver students at-risk for high school and college in completion. A&B’s mission is to create opportunity through exposure. By using athletics to capture the attention of student athletes, A&B incorporates robust services that also provide participants with the opportunity to develop life skills, explore alternative careers, and have access to preparatory rigorous academic support. Such services have enabled A&B to engage students academically and dramatically increase the likelihood that inner-city students graduate high school, attend and are prepared for higher education as well as obtain the discipline and fortitude to graduate with a post-secondary degree.
The A&B student athlete program (SAP) consists of four components: 1) Educational Success, 2) Life Skills Building, 3) Career Options and 4) Athletic Development. SAP focuses on at-risk children and youth primarily attending Denver Public Schools (DPS). Currently, there are no other programs in the Denver metro area that combine the aforementioned components into a whole-child approach to at-risk youth development. With the organization’s foundation goal and mission to increase high school and post-secondary, this approach has produced graduation and retention rates that are unrivaled by other organizations in the Denver Metro area. The Educational Success component of SAP provides academic support and resources and intensive mentoring. A&B hosts National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Eligibility Center workshops, requires academic tutoring; ACT and SAT preparation and testing and monitoring of the academic progress of students. Additionally, throughout the year A&B student athletes participate in college campus tours and sports camps and combines.
"This is going to be very effective," said T.J. Baskerville, a junior at PUSH Academy who's already looking forward to next year's summit. "I want a big outcome every year, for a change to be made every year. I want to hear someone say that I had an effect on their life."
Photo Caption: From left: Michael Acuna, a facilitator for My Brother's Keeper, and high school students Peter Lubembela, 15, Robert Baskerville, 17, and Jaelon Wright, 17. The four spoke at the My Brother's Keeper 2015 Summit at the Community College of Denver Confluence Building on Saturday, April 4, 2015. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)