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Xavier University of Louisiana, NORD collaborate for 5-week STEM and sports camp for local youth (2508 hits)

Xavier University of Louisiana, always with an eye on the future, is playing host to 85 local youth in a five-week summer science and sports camp.

The XULA Athletics STEM and Sports Camp, in partnership with New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD), began on campus June 7 and will conclude July 9. It's a Monday-through-Friday camp at the Fitness Center with sessions from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"One of our goals is to get kids involved and get them moving after the (COVID-19) pandemic," said camp director Jermaine Bridges, XULA's director of recreation and club sports. "They've been inside and at home for a year or so. We're getting the kids acclimated again to playing with each other."

Bridges said NORD's summer camp offerings a year ago were limited because of the pandemic. But it's full-speed ahead this summer, with one-week concentrations on volleyball, basketball, tennis, track and field, softball and baseball. A popular end-of-day activity is dodgeball.

The STEM component — science, technology, engineering and math — consists of 90-minute classroom sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Camp counselors include XULA athletes Jordan Ashmore from men's track and field/cross country and Nina German, Jaleah LaFargue, O.C. Mbakop Ngassam, Rayna Ross and Victory Udechi from women's basketball. Also a counselor is former XULA men's basketball standout Jeff Dixon, now a graduate assistant with the Gold Rush. These seven interact with campers daily in support and mentorship roles.

"We are excited about this camp and its ability to expose more young people to Xavier and college life in general," XULA Vice President for Student Affairs Curtis Wright said.

Said Bridges, "This camp gives paths to kids on what they can become — in academics and athletics."

Wright praised Bridges and Melissa Brown, XULA's assistant director of recreation and club sports, for their recruiting efforts. "Jermaine and Melissa were all over New Orleans, at playgrounds and rec centers, spreading the word about this camp," Wright said. "Jermaine and Melissa did a wonderful job putting this camp together."
Posted By: Reginald Culpepper
Friday, June 25th 2021 at 3:24PM
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