At NFL Youth Education Town of New Orleans, I am the Enrichment Coordinator. The Enrichment Coordinator assists the program staffin their different after school enrichment programs, specifically homework help and leading a dance class. My job is to always help out with other programs when needed. Most importantly, I help provide an effective and safe educational space for the children.
NFL Youth Education Town (primarily called NFL YET) is an “educational and recreation center constructed in Super Bowl host cities as the lasting legacies of the games”. Darrell Guy, the director and the staff at NFL YET’s mission is to “inspire and enable all youth from Southeastern Louisiana, especially those who need us most to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens”. Monday through Friday, volunteers come in to help children ages six through eighteen out with their homework during their study hour called “power hour”. Homework varies from math, history, science, to simple reading and vocabulary. If a child is finished with their homework and power hour is over, they can participate in recreational activities such as football or play educational yet fun games on the computers. My job is to create a dance class for the girls that show up on Fridays, which has been a little inconsistent lately. Once NFL YET has a consistent number of children attending on Fridays, I will organize my dance class, which will last an hour, for the girls (and even boys) to express themselves and have fun.
Because the NFL Yet boys and girls clubs are located in Super Bowl Cities, the NFL donates $1 million toward each NFL YET project. Other funding comes from local public and private support, and it is the NFL’s goal that each NFL YET remains live and effective after the Super Bowl has been played. For this to work, the NFL requires each host city to establish a 10-year operating plan, which includes a “funding commitment for ongoing operational, management and program expenses”.
I really enjoy my time at NFL YET because I see what a difference I am making in these children’s lives. A lot of these children have had to repeat grades due to their lack of progress in school and many of them still have trouble with basic reading and writing. I try my best to provide them with the tools they need to succeed and improve in school. Once a child is done with their homework, I always make them pick out two books to read to me so that it can further their practice with reading and comprehension. NFL YET seeks to not only address schooling issues but also a child’s behavioral issues. Many of these children have had tough lives growing up and we hope to provide them with a safe place for them to learn and get along with others.