On July 14, the Archway Partnership hosted L.I.F.E. League on the UGA campus for a day full of basketball, learning and planning for the future. Sponsors of the event include the Archway Partnership, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of International Education, Recreational Sports and the Georgia Museum of Art.

L.I.F.E. League is a middle Georgia nonprofit organization founded in Hawkinsville that enriches the lives of local, at-risk teenagers by teaching goal setting, good decision making, and life skills. This was the league’s fourth annual trip to Athens to play the championship basketball game for their summer camp league.

The organization was founded by three graduates of the Pulaski Tomorrow adult leadership program, including Middle Georgia State University faculty member Jeff Tarver, the CEO of L.I.F.E. League. Pulaski Tomorrow’s adult and youth leadership programs were created as an initiative of the Pulaski County Archway Partnership in collaboration with the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.

According to Tarver, “this trip exposes our campers to the educational opportunities that are available to them. Every summer, after our UGA trip, I have several youth who approach me to tell me that they now aspire to attend college!”

The high school graduation rate for L.I.F.E. League participants is 90 percent—more than 15 percentage points greater than the local average. Many L.I.F.E. League participants also go on to participate in Pulaski Tomorrow Youth Leadership.

The L.I.F.E. League students started their day on campus with lunch at the Joe Frank Harris Dining Commons where they were joined by UGA students, faculty and staff. After lunch, the students walked over to the Georgia Museum of Art for a tour, learning activities, and discussion of college admissions and opportunities to see the world in college. Following their time at the museum, the students played their championship basketball game at the Ramsey Student Center in front of cheering UGA faculty and staff, Hairy Dawg, the Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, and UGA football standouts Nick Chubb and Jake Fromm.

This partnership between L.I.F.E League and the University of Georgia provides rural students with the opportunity to experience a college campus and learn about the opportunities available to them in the future. According to Tarver, “The University of Georgia has a tremendous impact on our kids by inspiring them to reach their full academic potential.”