150 deserving young students will attend basketball camps this summer
MILWAUKEE – The Nicholas Family Foundation will underwrite the funding for 150 scholarships to allow Milwaukee Public School students to attend boys and girls basketball camps at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this summer.
This is the second-straight year the family has made a camp scholarship donation, with the program’s return officially introduced this afternoon at The Pavilion by UWM Chancellor Mike Lovell and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton along with Panther basketball coaches Rob Jeter and Sandy Botham.
The donation will give MPS students from grades 3-6 (boys) and 3-8 (girls) the opportunity to attend a handful of basketball camps at UWM.
UWM alumnus David Nicholas, President and Chief Investment Officer of Nicholas Company, Inc., and his wife, Lori, have been ardent supporters of the school and its athletics program. They are once again providing a big assist in helping the department and University get even more involved with youth in the local community.
“We are very happy to support this worthwhile program again this summer,” Nicholas said. “Rob and Sandy do an excellent job of getting their teams involved in the community, and having these young kids interact with the coaches and student-athletes will be an extremely positive experience.”
The opportunities for MPS students to use the scholarships include three summer day camps. Girls’ day camps are scheduled for June 14-17 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and June 29-July 1 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Meanwhile, a boys’ day camp is June 20-24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. There is also a Coed Shooting Camp June 27-28.
The partnership between UWM and MPS is an important one for the University.
“This program is a perfect example of the way we can make an impact on the students of Milwaukee and MPS,” Lovell said. “It is an opportunity for them to not only get better at athletics, but also to learn and have their character developed. Many of the things that I learned in terms of teamwork, setting goals and my decision-making were through the experiences I had in athletics. Through the gift of Dave and Lori Nicholas, 150 students are going to have similar experiences.”
For MPS, the program exposes students to the college campus and environment, something that may spark an interest in education and college down the road.
“What we are doing with these young people is getting them on the campus and, thanks to the Chancellor and the entire athletic department, we are planting seeds for tomorrow,” Thornton said. “My hope is that a lot of these seeds are going to germinate and these students are going to make the decision they want to be part of an educational environment such as this and hopefully go on to college. Our goal is to get young people focused and moving in the right direction.”
The Milwaukee Public Schools Recreation Department will coordinate the selection of the scholarship recipients. William Molbeck, Commissioner of Sports and Athletics, is the point person for MPS and can be reached at 414-475-8219.
Another element of this year’s program includes the chance for some additional MPS student to participate in youth development activities as part of the annual Fellowship Open. John W. Daniels, Jr., Chairman of Quarles and Brady and of the Fellowship Open will extend those opportunities to selected students as part of the Open’s mission to encourage youngsters to pursue and realize their dreams. Dr. Thornton, Jeter and Gerard Randall, who has helped organize the scholarship and mentoring program, are all honorary co-chairs of the Fellowship Open.
The scholarship program also adds to the long list of ways the men’s and women’s basketball program are contributing to the local community, something both Jeter and Botham stress with their student-athletes.
“It is great to be able to again offer this opportunity to some deserving student from Milwaukee Public Schools, and it is even better that this program continues to grow” Jeter said. “The Nicholas family has been extremely generous with its support for our program and our department, and they are also extremely active in a positive way with our community. Our student-athletes have made a commitment to giving back to this community and this program is another way we can all do that.”
“I am so happy this program is growing and we can offer even more opportunities to a group of deserving Milwaukee Public School students,” Botham said. “The support of the Nicholas family has been extremely important for the success of our program and this is a great way for them to be even more involved. Doing our part in the community is an important responsibility and this certainly gives our student-athletes and coaches the chance to make a real impact in the youth of Milwaukee.”