Leveraging Youth Interest in Sports to Improve Classroom Behavior and Promote Careers
Bloomberg Associates worked with the City of Houston and the local sports industry to bring youth behind-the-scenes and show them the many ways their interest in sports could be turned into a future career off-the-field.
Investing in our youth is one of the most important things we can do for our city. Team Up provides opportunities to young people in some of our most vulnerable communities, expanding horizons and encouraging them to stay in school and pursue careers they may not have otherwise considered.
Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
In Houston, and across the United States, educators and elected officials are struggling with how to keep youth excited and engaged in school. This problem was especially challenging in Houston’s under-resourced neighborhoods, as technology, mentorship, and life skills training had not traditionally been available in these schools due to lack of staff, time and resources.
In response, the City of Houston launched Team Up, an initiative that focuses on leveraging youth interest in sports, to introduce young people to off-the-field careers in the industry (sales, marketing, communications, event operations, etc.). Houston and Bloomberg Associates created an in-classroom curriculum that brought executives from Houston-area sports organizations into school classrooms on a monthly basis to educate youth on their career paths and daily responsibilities. To participate, students must complete a monthly assignment to further develop their understanding of the industry and the career opportunities that may be available to them. In-classroom learning is enhanced through visits to the venues and events the sports organizations operate, with youth getting hands-on experience that motivates them to stay in school and pursue college and a career.
In addition to the in-classroom and at-event experiences, the City of Houston and Bloomberg Associates developed data collection tools that examine the effectiveness of the program. These tools capture attendance at school and in mentorship programs, behavior in the classroom and at home, college interest and career readiness. The collected data is then analyzed and used to develop an improved curriculum and experience for the students.
Since its inception, Team Up has provided over 200 students from Houston’s under-resourced neighborhoods with exposure to off-the-field careers in sports. The program has attracted partners, including: the Houston Marathon Foundation, the Sugar Land Skeeters, the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, and the Houston Dynamo and Dash.