Silver & Black Give Back Announces Semi-Finalists For 2012 Summer Team Up Challenge presented by AT&T

June 1, 2012

(SAN ANTONIO) — Silver & Black Give Back has officially announced the 10 organizations chosen as semi-finalists in the 2012 summer Team Up Challenge, presented by AT&T. All groups in the Challenge are from youth-serving nonprofits in the greater San Antonio area, and have been awarded seed-funding of $1,000 to help their inspiring projects take flight.

Throughout the summer, Silver & Black Give Back will offer assistance and recognition to the students working on each project. As they demonstrate progress, their organizations could receive volunteer assistance from Spurs Sports & Entertainment staff, mascot appearances, event tickets, promotional opportunities at the AT&T Center and player and coach partnerships.

In mid- August, the Team Up Challenge review committee will choose three champions and award them with $10,000 for the work they have done to improve our community.

The 2012 Summer Team Up Challenge semi-finalists:
The Arc of San Antonio - Team Up For Pets: The Arc of San Antonio has collaborated with Meals on Wheels and Project 4 Paws to aid those who are struggling to feed their pets. The special needs teenagers served by Arc will be packaging, labeling and distributing pre-measured pet meals to elderly San Antonio citizens who are unable to leave their homes, as well as to various church food pantries. The group will collaborate with Project 4 Paws to host a Pet Awareness Day at the end of the summer that will offer inexpensive vaccinations and free pet food.

Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio [BGCSA]: The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio is taking a stand against graffiti in their Calderon branch, and the surrounding West Side area. According to recent surveys, a space adorned by a mural is much less likely to be defaced than a blank one. Using this knowledge, the group has set out to design murals for local areas often covered in graffiti. BGCSA will partner with local artists to help paint club walls with the murals they have personally designed.

Child Safe: A team from Destination Imagination has partnered with Child Safe to create a sensory room that will help children who have been victims of abuse feel safe, and ultimately overcome their trauma. The Destination Imagination team will also research abuse statistics and work to educate their peers and the community on child abuse.

Ella Austin Community Center: The Ella Austin Community Center will create a leadership team of youth to assist in determining a course of study to be pursued over the summer. The leadership group will research different areas of interest amongst the community’s youth and plan education-based field trips for the entire community center to enjoy. Through these field trips, the leadership team hopes to inspire their peers academically and promote a more college-going culture on the East Side of the city.

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas - Gamma Sigma Girls: The Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas Gamma Sigma Girls will mentor younger Girl Scouts, in grades K-5, during June and July summer camps. The Gamma Sigma Girls will lead younger Girl Scouts in service projects for local organizations, which will be determined at the outset of each session. The Gamma Sigma Girls will also lead the camp in a beautification project at a local SAISD elementary school, where the girls will install a butterfly garden.

Girls Inc. - Mentors Valuing Peers: Girls Inc. is working to raise awareness about the presentation of women in today’s media. In order to help elevate esteem and respect of women for women, teens at Girls Inc. will give presentations to local businesses, government organizations and community centers to illustrate the unhealthy image of the “ideal woman” depicted by the American media today. Their goal is to have more women evaluated on their abilities and talents rather than their physical appearance.

Haven for Hope: The youth at Haven for Hope plan to revitalize a community garden created by former volunteers of the center. The teens will thoroughly research each plant, fruit and vegetable they plan to cultivate in order to learn about proper planting preparation and nutritional value of each organism.

JOVEN: Students at JOVEN aim to educate themselves and their community on the risk factors for diabetes. Students will research a range of risk factors and start a personal journal to document their findings and everyday habits to help decrease these risk factors in their own lives. Students will visit with a nutritionist and physical trainer to devise a meal plan for implementation at schools within the Southside Independent School District. After analyzing the meal plan, students will present their findings to the school board with recommendations.

SA Youth: Middle school students at SA Youth will work to promote recycling in their neighborhood. Students will pick up trash and go on “block walks” armed with recycling bins that they will distribute to their neighbors. Students will also work to eradicate the graffiti in their neighborhood. They will plant several community gardens at the SA Youth neighborhood centers and distribute their produce to interested neighbors while assisting families who would like to create their own gardens at home.

Wreaths Across America: Jayci Derby is a Youth Ambassador for Wreaths Across America, an organization that works to lay a wreath on each veteran’s grave on December 15. After visiting her grandfather’s grave at Ft. Sam Houston last Christmas, Jayci saw that most graves had no flowers or adornment. Because of this realization, her goal is to have a wreath on every grave at the Ft. Sam Houston cemetery on December 15, 2012. She and four of her friends are sending out letters to local businesses to help raise money and they hope to educate their peers about honoring veterans.

Below is a list of key dates to help keep up with the semi-finalists throughout the competition:

  • Jul. 13 - On-court recognition of semi-finalists during halftime of Silver Stars game
  • Jul. 30 - Aug. 13 - Online voting period for semi-finalists
  • Aug. 14 - Final presentations at AT&T Center
  • Aug, 15 - Summer 2012 Team Up Challenge Champions announced
  • September 14 - Applications due for 2012-2013 Team Up Challenge

To find out more about Silver and Black Give Back, visit their Facebook at Facebook.com/SilverBlackGiveBack, or visit teamupchallenge.com.