Youth program faces funding struggle

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Summer Youth Sports Program at UNM has served mostly underprivileged kids in Albuquerque for more than four decades, but the program’s been in jeopardy each year since government funding ran out in 2007. Now it’s facing another hurdle.

More than 10,000 kids have come through the program over the years, which started as a free camp for low-income youth. SYSP Director Stacy Washington says money has been tight recently, and they’ve had to charge for the camp, which provides a lot more that sports.

Children ages 8 to 14 are driven to and from camp daily, and both breakfast and lunch are provided. This year, it only cost $10 per child for the full month.

Washington says UNM will still provide the facilities the camp uses, but for everything else they’ll be relying on private donors and they’ll have to scale the program back based on that.

“The preparation for high school sports will be lost, just something to do during the summer will be lost, but you know, for so many kids, it’s just activity in general,” Washington said.

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