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Coach Across America partners with MAM to provide more mentors

By March 6, 2014 No Comments

The Commercial Appeal,  Local News, Friday, September 23, 2013

Coach Alfred Applewhite (second from right) shares life skills on the court with our middle school boys.

Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) has secured a new partnership with Up2Us, an accomplished, nationally respected organization that supports youth development programs that use sports to improve the lives of kids across the nation.

A recent expansion of their program “Coach Across America (CAA)” included Memphis for the first time, giving MAM the opportunity to hire eight new coaches.

The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is proud to work with both organizations and play a role in providing more resources and guidance to youth in MAM’s programs.

These new coaches participated in the National Training Institute in Chicago in April alongside coaches from eight other U.S. cities, two additional MAM staff members and two members of the Grizzlies Foundation staff. The new coaches are responsible for mentoring middle school youths at four MAM neighborhood youth centers: the MAM Grizzlies Center, MAM Kroc Center, MAM Olivet Center and the MAM Salvation Army Center.

Also, Up2Us staff recently spent two days in Memphis training all MAM coaches from its 11 centers on behavior issues affecting under-resourced youth and the positive impact of mentoring through sports.

Alfred Applewhite, one of MAM’s new coaches at MAM Olivet and the father of a son in middle school, works as a CAA coach at MAM because “it is giving me the opportunity to empower youth by equipping them with the necessary tools to succeed on and off the court. I am challenging them not only to change their own lives, mindsets and attitudes, but to encourage their peers to do the same.”

Chasity Adams, 22, MAM Olivet coach, says the CAA training is helping her become a better role model for middle school girls. “CAA training teaches us to recognize certain youth behavior and the reasons for those behaviors. That training, along with the fact that I live in the same community as many of the MAM Olivet kids and understand their neighborhood, tremendously improves my mentoring skills,” she said.

Coach Across America is a program launched by Up2Us to provide the support needed to train and host highly effective coaches in sports and youth development. CAA’s mission is to lead the United States in training and supporting expert SBYD coaches in the nation’s most under-resourced communities to promote health and nutrition, educational success, civic engagement, and positive personal and social development among youth.

For more information on Up2Us, go to

For more information on Memphis Athletic Ministries, visit
Anne Chambers is communications director for Memphis Athletic Ministries.


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