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​Contact: Ann Hatch
For immediate release — Dec. 11, 2013
(DALLAS) — No mind left behind. That’s what happens when young men study, compete and succeed. They want to learn more, do more and win more — and that’s what they can achieve as competitors and team members in the 2014 “Aiming for the Stars” Academic Bowl, organized and presented by the Dallas County Community College District.
The annual, team-based competition of brain teasers and crowd pleasers is geared toward young African-American men in grades 4 through 8, scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at 9 a.m. at the University of Texas at Dallas. Now, after several years, bragging rights and an excellent track record show that no mind is left behind in this event, which becomes more popular every year.
“After all of the study sessions, all of the practices and all of the prizes that winners have received, we know that the competition works,” said David Robinson, the event’s organizer, who works for UT-Dallas, in partnership with DCCCD’s outreach office. “We’ve talked to the boys and asked them what they’ve learned. Almost every boy — 96%, in fact — has told us this event motivates them to learn more and finish school. That’s what we set out to do.”
Of course, the students can’t do it alone. They need coaches who volunteer their time for several months each year to help the young men prepare and practice for the academic bowl. Robinson is looking for team members and coaches right now; registration continues through Jan. 13, 2014. He hopes that more coaches will step forward to help their teams of young men grow academically and personally as they prepare to compete.
Each team pays a registration fee of $100. A team coach can support more than one team in each age bracket; the number of team coaches who are involved in the event is based on the number of registered teams. Team coaches must be 21 years of age or older, and they are required to participate in a brief orientation that is conducted by the event committee. Each coach supports a team of three young men.
“Competing in the ‘Aiming for the Stars’ Academic Bowl for young African-American men has changed lives. The students have reached greater heights emotionally, academically and mentally as they’ve gone through school,” added Robinson. “This event has encouraged both students and their parents to achieve their dreams of academic success — to better themselves.”
In 2010, 72 boys from across Dallas County competed in the inaugural tournament — a super bowl of brains. Last year, more than 100 boys from across the state participated in the single-elimination tournament for a chance to match wits and claim that they were the brightest.
“Faith-based organizations, school districts and community groups assembled their own teams to study materials and prepare for weeks as the event approached. This year, resources donated by DCCCD, the University of Texas at Dallas, Project Still I Rise Inc. and state Sen. Royce West will allow us to have a fun-filled and informative program. Prizes are given to all of the boys and their mentors for the hard work they do and the time they spend studying outside of regular school hours,” said Robinson. “McDonald’s, AT&T and additional partners provide food and other fabulous gifts for the boys and the volunteers, too.”
Individuals interested in volunteering to be a coach and students who want to sign up for a team should contact Robinson by email at
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