San Antonio, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/27/2014 -- According to the US Department of Education, only 9% of students in the lowest 25% of family income earn a college degree of any kind. They report that education is the biggest factor in adult income levels even as tuition costs rise out of reach of the very students who need it the most.
“Study after study links education to income. Education is the golden path to social mobility,” says Tonika Bruce, co-founder of the Summer Ballin tournament and scholarship program, “Education used to be the key. Now, it’s more like a door, and money is the key.”
Tonika Bruce, who has played basketball both collegiately, as well as professionally, is passionate about the goals of the Summer Ballin tournament detailed at SummerBallin.com.
“For too many students, higher education is a pay-to-play system. Anyone who can afford it gets the opportunity. But at twenty thousand a year or more, this is not an option for low-income students,” says tournament partner Phyllis Dallis-Morris, a stand out collegiate and pro ball player.
The Department of Education confirms twenty-two thousand dollars a year as the entry level price for a 4-year institution.
“One of the last ways a low-income student can afford a college education is with sports. This is more of a play-to-pay system”, says Bruce, “A sports scholarship has become the option of necessity. Our Summer Ballin tournament program offers young people a chance to be seen by athletic scouts from top universities.”
As a former professional player and head coach, Tonika Bruce has her eye on improving the 12-percent college dropout rate for the lowest income quarter of students according to the Department of Education.
“The dropout rates, which are slowly declining, aren’t for lack of academic ability; it’s for a lack of opportunity. That’s why students active in sports are 30-percent MORE likely to stay in school. That is our goal with the tournament. That is what success looks like.”
The Summer Ballin team is rounded out with Charlie Harper, a coach with 25-years of experience on the courts and president of UBAVE (Using Basketball as a Vehicle for Education).
Tonika Bruce, Phyllis Dallis-Morris, & Charlie Harper all provide a provocative and informed interview each with extensive radio and print experience. To schedule an interview on this or any other Youth Sports topic, ring Tonika at (318)405-BALL(2255).