UP is going to school thanks to a proposed partnership with University of King’s College, here in Halifax.
UP and King’s have been meeting over the past 7 months and will be doing so again on March 20th to hammer out the details of our future collaboration (including personnel, logistics, gym space, and finances). In short, we are putting a sturdy frame around the existing pick-up games & youth mentorship presently underway.
Growing UP (pardon the pun) requires partners - teammates, actually - who will help those basketball players interested in improving their skills on the court and who also harbor academic & professional dreams.
Most of us can recall a great coach or teacher who took a deep interest in us and helped guide us to higher ground - a spot from which the world looked genuinely beautiful. The partnership with King’s - thanks to President Bill Lahey - is all about making those sort of relationships happen, nd happen more often. We’ll always use basketball as the point of engagement. But make no mistake, the goal here is not limited to achievement in sport. This is about achievement in life. This is about putting smart young ball players in places where the vistas are simply awesome.
Want me to be specific about the problem that makes this process necessary?
How about this: Halifax has existed for years with not one family doctor of African Nova Scotia descent. Yes, that’s what I said NOT ONE. You’ll find a black doc here and there, and you’ll see a few family docs soon (we’re waiting for you Akila!), but for... well, ever... the city has been devoid of black family physicians.
We want to see three African Nova Scotia kids get into and thru Medical school within the next 10 years. That's the goal. Period. In one sense this may sound ambitious. But in another way, it’s absolutely ridiculous. Not for the difficulty in achieving this. Rather, for the simple reality that this is not already happening… every... single... year.
So, time’s up Halifax. We’re calling bullshit. And we are thru asking for greater diversity on our university campuses. UP is making things happen.