Metro State’s Intercollegiate Athletics program has received the
NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award in the Rocky Mountain
Athletic Conference (RMAC) for its "Building Bridges to the Community"
The NCAA and the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) give the award.
The award-winning program began in the fall of 2007 when the women’s
softball team "adopted" the Denver West High School girls' softball
team. This partnering between the two teams is an ongoing relationship
meant to build bridges between the college and Denver Public Schools.
"I think this is a great opportunity, not only for the West High
students, but for our student-athletes here at Metro State," said
Athletic Director Joan McDermott. "They are great role models who can
positively impact the lives of young people in local schools. It is
also important for our student-athletes to realize they have a
responsibility to give back to the community."
The program entailed Metro State team members conducting seminars at
West dealing with leadership, the importance of academics and success
in athletics and life. Especially important was the pairing of the
college and high school students in a study session where the
Roadrunners were able to show the high school students what their
studies are like, how they handle their busy schedules and what their
future plans are. The players also attended a couple of the high school
team's practices and games to show their support and provide
encouragement to their "adopted" team.
The building bridges program will grow in the fall of 2008 when all
of Metro State's athletic teams will mentor select Denver Public
Schools, McDermott said.
Division II and NACMA staged the contest to build momentum for
Division II's community-engagement initiative and reward institutions
for their creativity in advancing the initiative. Division II schools
were encouraged to submit their best community-engagement promotion
from the "ideas that work" section on the Division II
community-engagement Web site, http://www.diicommunity.org/.
Editor’s Note: To view a story that Fox 31 news did on the building bridges program go to http://media.myfoxcolorado.com/prepzone/index.html and click on the 12/22/07 Prep Zone in Marcia’s video vault. The Roadrunners’ story is at the end of the video.
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