Nov. 6th, 2012

Mercedes-Benz and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Unite to Help the Youth of New Orleans

Photo Courtesy of Up2Us
In lieu of the many recent economically crippling events that have devastated the United States, including a great recession, numerous natural disasters and a government absurdly in debt, America’s youth have received a hard blow to their futures. Budget cuts have put many adolescents at a three times higher risk of becoming hoodlums. With after-school sports programs being put on the back-burner, the after-school time gap is growing, especially in parts of the country like New Orleans where regional disaster has left the economy even worse off than the national one. National non-profit Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Mercedes-Benz are collaborating together on the Up2Us Coach Across America Program in an attempt to give kids a way to stay crime-free.
 Up2Us Coach Across America Program

In the absence of after-school sports programs, American children’s choices seem to be “joining a gang, [doing] drugs or [staying] at home without doing any... exercise.” The program seeks to provide children with options that encourage staying drug and violence-free. Up2Us is endorsed by a number of professional athletes like Robby Naish and Monica Seles, as well as Olympian Marcus Allen. These positive mentors, along with the highly effective Coach Across America coaches are set to inspire kids to participate in non-violent, community driven, physical activities.
 Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

The program seeks to bridge the “burgeoning after-school gap in New Orleans,” by placing 26 qualified CAA coaches in 11 after-school programs. This placement is estimated to give 3,250 kids a safe and healthy alternative to joining the Russian mafia, or freebasing heroin out of a fire hose. Mercedes-Benz President and CEO says that his company seeks to “make a big difference in the lives of American’s youth,” and after-school sports programs are a step in the right direction. The National Collaboration Supporting After-school Sports Programs believe that the youth of New Orleans, having endured Katrina, deserve the chance to learn and participate in organized activities that will lead to positive relationships and a brighter future.



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