DALLAS — Mavs Gaming, in partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, recently hosted a college and career readiness program to inspire the next generation of youth.
Mavs Gaming has been hard at work in the community all summer long, hosting numerous outreach programs from a Father’s Day brunch for underserved youth to college readiness events and back-to-school fairs.
The organization will also pour out community hours these next two weeks to boost morale as students prepare for school. This summer, local youth explored the world of esports at two Mavs Academy Gaming Camps.
Last week, Mavs Gaming opened its door to host a college and career readiness program with students from the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation and EAGLE Scholars program.
The organization serves students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds who desire to soar higher in their educational pursuits.
“Since many of our students are first generation in America, they don’t always know the steps to get into college,” said Valerie Morales, Director of the EAGLE Scholar program. “So, we recruit them when they’re in seventh grade, and from there, we follow them all throughout their high school journeys.”
For the Mavs Gaming event, the students arrived on a bus to spend a day with the franchise. The event occurred under the bright lights of the world-renowned Mavs Gaming headquarters.
The state-of-the-art facility boasts the best technological gadgets esports has to offer.
Mavs Gaming center Jerry “Sick One” Knapp, along with assistant coach Roy Krishnan, participated in the educational panel.
Knapp is one of the most decorated NBA2K players in league history. He’s been a standout spokesman for the organization since his arrival, and he’s able to connect with gamers of all ages.
“The panel was great today,” said Knapp. “The kids were super engaged, (they) asked many questions. I got to tell them about my experiences. It was a great day.”
Over 50 high school students between 15-17 participated in the event, and there was a panel of various gaming leaders who gave the students an insight into the industry.
During the college readiness event, students participated in an exclusive tech immersion workshop created by Danny Martin, who serves as the founder of a company called Esposure, based out of Duncanville, Texas.
“There’s someone who is in this crowd who is going to take the information provided,” said Martin. “They’re going to apply it, and they’re going to apply it to be successful. They’re going to apply it to impact other individuals in the community.”
Haley Parks, who is the CEO of BearClaw esports, also participated. Topics spanned from the current climate of esports to career opportunities and diversity and inclusion.
Mavs Gaming hosts numerous events annually to provide hope and inspiration to the North Texas community.
In June, Mavs Gaming held an esports brunch at East Dallas Boys and Girls Club. Players and coaches sat with fathers and their kids to discuss how impactful gaming has been as a career.
The franchise also celebrated the opening of the new gaming lab built there.
Mavs.com sat down with Tray Thompson, Mavs Gaming community relations manager, to learn more about the organization’s work across North Texas this summer.
MAVS.COM Can you share more about Mavs Gaming’s community involvement across North Texas? What are some recent highlights?
THOMPSON: This summer Mavs Gaming CommUNITY put a focus on youth development and education through a few collaborative opportunities. We engaged in a specialized panel at the STEAM Academy 2022 Hackathon hosted by Mavs Take ACTION!, TD Jakes Foundation, and Goldman Sachs featuring Ronnie Fauss, Roy Krishnan, and Tray Thompson. We partnered with Boys & Girls Club of Dallas to host a Father’s Day Esports Brunch. We operated a Summer Kickoff and College & Career Readiness Program The Eagle Scholars.
Mavs.com: What is the EAGLE Scholars program about?
THOMPSON: EAGLE Scholars is made up of a very ethnically and culturally diverse group of 150 seventh through twelfth graders and 50 college students, all of whom are focused on a four-year college degree as their goal. The EAGLE Scholars program is designed to help our Scholars develop the skills they already have and acquire the ones they need in order to help them successfully navigate the educational system.
Scholars apply to the program in middle school. They go through an application process that includes a teacher recommendation and an interview by older EAGLE Scholars. Once accepted into the program, Scholars are able to stay in the program and receive support until college graduation, though we are currently working on ways to extend that support to helping them get settled into a career.
Mavs.com: Is there anything else you want people to know about Mavs Gaming and the community?
THOMPSON: Mavs Gaming CommUNITY prioritizes expanding our global and digital footprint by providing virtual and in-person community programs that cater to socio-economic circumstances and potential career opportunities for underrepresented communities.
Aug. 2 – Aug. 3
Women Leading Technology All-Girls Two Day Coding Camp
Mavs Gaming continues to push for equity in the esports world and this week it partnered with Women Leading Technology and Techie Factory to host a two-day coding camp at Belong in Grapevine. The attendees had the opportunity to engage with a a multitude of tech-driven activities.
Dallas Hybrid Prep Back to School Kick Off
Sunday, August 7, 2022
@Eposure – 411 E Hwy 67, Duncanville, TX 75137
Mavs Gaming, in partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, will join Dallas Hybrid Prep to host a team building event and back-to-school celebration this weekend. The program will address the expectations of the upcoming school year for all attending students and parents. Esposure will host an immersive Esports/Tech Educational Session for all students and parents in attendance. Last school year, the Mavs held its inaugural Game & Greet NBA 2K22 Clinic featuring Jerry “Sick One” Knapp and Christopher Turner with 70 students. The program introduced the fundamentals of NBA 2K and gave the students an in depth understanding of what it is like to be a professional esports athlete and business professional in the gaming industry.
To read more about the extraordinary Mavs Gaming outreach programs hosted throughout the year and more, click here.