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Transforming the lives of young men in Baltimore City by supporting and advancing their academic, athletic and social development.
Next One Up (NOU) harnesses the power of sports, education and mentoring to positively impact the lives of young, African-American males in Baltimore City, and create pathways for lifelong success. All programs are based on our mission: " to transform the lives of young men in Baltimore City by supporting and advancing their academic, athletic and social development". By pairing sports opportunities and long-term mentoring with highly individualized academic supports, we believe that we can radically alter the course for the young men we serve.
NOU offers young athletes the opportunity to participate in summer sports camps and practices throughout the school year that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend. While sports opportunities are an important incentive for ongoing participation in NOU, they are just one part of a rigorous, multi-year program. As a requirement for participation, every student athlete commits to staying in school and taking advantage of NOU’s full complement of year-round academic support; including highly-individualized tutoring, academic counseling, and college readiness support
Our partner schools identify hard-working young men in middle school, whom they feel will not find the right path in life without a mentor. While most have a strong interest in sports, a high level of sports ability is not required. Our program is not for top athletes. Rather, it is for boys who can benefit from healthy activities that provide life-lessons of grit, perseverance, teamwork and leadership.
NOU provides the structure to shepherd young men through their most formative years. The end result is not to put athletes on the field, it is to push athletes to get college degrees and join the workforce with the skills needed to change their lives and the lives of those around them.
- Matt Hanna
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