This summer, Heart of a Warrior Charitable Foundation continues its mission to expand and enhance the education of 300 underrepresented Dallas youth grades K-7th with its 7th annual Young Warrior Summer Learning Program.
Since 2007, YWSL has provided students with STEM-based educational training and experiences which help them stay on par with their peers and reduce the learning gap often seen in lower-income students when they return to school in the fall. The program began on June 16 at all locations and concludes on August 1 with a tour and graduation ceremony for all students at the University of Dallas with keynote speaker, former Dallas Cowboy Herschel Walker. Distinguished by the Dallas Afterschool Network as “High Quality Summer Programming,” YWSL’s STEM-based curriculum places a heavy focus on math, science, engineering and technology, with a secondary objective concerning nutrition, leadership and civic engagement, and Spanish language integration. With its safe environment for learning, the program strives to help close the gap that a break from school leaves and provide students with the academic tools to become active citizens and positive forces in their communities. “The goal of the Young Warrior Summer Learning Program is to provide students with the best education possible by utilizing projects in the classroom and field trips to Dallas’ historical and instructive landmarks,” said Gail Warrior, Founder and Chairwoman, HOAW. “Students of all ages enjoy visiting museums such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and we ensure that the curriculum is aimed at keeping students on par with their peers and academically motivated during the summer months.”
Since its inception in 2007, the Young Warrior Summer Learning Program has served nearly 1,000 students and has graduated nearly 725 students since 2011. Through continued support from PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, The Heloise Munson Foundation and BBVA Compass, the program grows and helps more children each year. HOAW has ambitious goals for the years to come, especially the continued expansion of the program into new neighborhoods. Expanding its commitment to YWSL, Equinox is hosting a Backpack Drive May 17 through July 25. Gym members and non-members are asked to bring in new backpacks to the Preston Hollow location. Donors will receive a free day pass and Kids Club pass for each backpack donated. The backpacks will be presented by Equinox trainers to the YWSL students during the August 1 graduation ceremony.
For eight weeks, students meet Monday through Thursday at the four YWSL Dallas locations:
– Choices Leadership Academy a Multicultural College Preparatory Middle School serving North Dallas area youth
– Hamilton Park Community Youth in Northeast Dallas in partnership with Hamilton Park United Methodist Church and City of Dallas Park and Recreation
– Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center at the Baylor Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute, serving youth in and around the Frazier Courts community in East Dallas
– Saint Philip’s School and Community Center assisting South Dallas area youth