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Local realtor, former NFL star help area youth in football, academics

Stacy | 2/27/2015, 6 a.m.
Christine Thomas enjoys talking about children. The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage real estate agent has two daughters, but there are ...
(Left to right) MRIS CEO David Charron; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Roland Park Branch VP Georgiana Tyler; 2014 Adam D. Cockey Jr. Award Winner Christine Thomas; Former NFL Athlete Keion Carpenter; and MRIS Chairman Jon Coile at the Adam D. Cockey Award Ceremony in Rockville, Maryland in December 2014.

Through classroom instruction, athletic training, and mentoring, the academy’s goal is to position students to be confident, successful advocates who will make positive contributions to our world.

“With our partnership with Dynamic Team Tutoring and For My Kidz, Inc., we holistically provide activities and opportunities to promote success for participants in the areas of academics, personal/social development, decision-making and college, career awareness and athletics,” Carpenter said, noting that the target population is students enrolled in select Baltimore County Public Schools in from first to twelfth grade.

It costs $200 to sign up and the program includes homework assistance, tutoring, sports training and participation and dinners. Mostly, it provides a foundation for a successful future, program officials said.

“There’s more to life than sports,” Thomas said. “It’s about teaching core values of honor, character, integrity and respect, and instilling in them a sense of community. It doesn’t stop when they leave program; the portion of them that will reach the NFL or the NBA is very small so we’re trying to teach our children to look past pro sports and to instill in them that there’s nothing wrong with being a team owner, a sports agent or even a janitor where there is pride in that.”

Many of the children in the program have never experienced going to a beach, museum or library.

“We want them to experience walking barefoot in a stream,” she said. “We want them to know that there’s a world outside of Baltimore City and Baltimore County.”

For more information or to sign up for the Shutdown Academy, visit: www.shutdownacademy.org.