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Learning To Be Leaders

Learning To Be LeadersTufts University graduate Aaron Dworkin – founder of a unique New York City basketball camp for teens – was recently named “New Yorker of the Week.”

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.18.06] In a city of more than eight million people, it’s hard to stand out. But Tufts graduate Aaron Dworkin, who was recently named “New Yorker of the Week” by a New York City cable television station, has set himself apart. Five years ago, Dworkin founded a unique basketball camp that gives inner-city teenagers a chance to connect with positive role models on the court. The camp has been scoring ever since.

“We created a whole curriculum and a basketball camp [that teaches] leadership skills [by] bringing mentors together with younger guys to be role models,” Dworkin told cable television station NY1, which profiled him as part of its weekly series on New Yorkers who are making a difference in their communities..

As co-director of the Hoops and Leaders Basketball Camp, Dworkin is doing just that. The free, two-week, volunteer-run camp mixes mentoring and sports; it’s a chance for teenagers to enjoy the game of basketball while spending time with professionals who serve as role models.

“The camp goes beyond the court,” NY1 reported. “The kids and mentors listen to speakers from various professions, engage in leadership activities and [eat] together.”

Dworkin, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tufts in 1998, told the news station that he was inspired to start the camp after reading a book by former U.S. Senator and New York Knick Bill Bradley.

“Years ago Bill Bradley wrote a book called ‘Values of the Game’ where he talked about all the leadership and life lessons you could learn through basketball,” Dworkin told NY1.

Dworkin developed the camp which is co-sponsored by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department and Big Brothers Big Sisters around Bradley’s theory.

NY1 praised him and his co-director for their efforts. “For teaching these rising stars the right moves both on and off the court, while providing the opportunity to forge long-lasting relationships, we congratulate Aaron Dworkin and Justin Weir,” the channel reported.

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