NLP Media Breakfast 7.19.10 Jody ConradtThere are two things no sports program can do without: athletes and fans. By the early 1990s, the UT Athletics Department had reason to worry about losing them both. Like many universities in Texas, a significant number of UT’s student athletes were African American. But historically UT’s overall enrollment of underrepresented or underserved students had been smaller than most of its neighbors. When new African American student enrollment fell in 1991, Longhorn student athletes joined the public in crying foul at the racist message this disparity sent.

Jody Conradt, then head coach of UT’s beloved Lady Longhorn basketball team, looks back on that painful time. “We had big problems. UT was just not seen as a welcoming place, particularly in communities of color. It hit morale and recruiting hard. We really needed to reach out and show that we cared.”

DSC_0030The Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP), devised by Conradt and colleagues Tom Penders, Donna Lopiano, and DeLoss Dodds in 1991, has done much to bridge the gap between UT and the communities that it wants to engage—one child at a time.
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About 50 students from Dawson and Zavala Elementary Schools who participate in the Neighborhood Longhorns Program had the opportunity to attend college for a day. Students toured campus then met with college students to talk about what it was like to attend The University of Texas at Austin. Such visits to campus are a major part of NLP, opening the doors of possibility to students who may not have ever been on a college campus before.

Dawson Elementary students and teachers braved the rain to pose in front of the UT Tower. Dawson Elementary students and teachers braved the rain to pose in front of the UT Tower. Students enjoyed hearing about UT Austin students' experiences on campus. Students enjoyed hearing about UT Austin students’ experiences on campus.


Forestar Presents Neighborhood Longhorns Program with $15,000 Gift

Today, a group of Neighborhood Longhorns Program students, staff and friends visited Forestar for a pizza lunch and generous gifts including a $15,000 donation to support the program. The celebratory lunch included a talk by DDCE Development Officer Vince Young, who shared stories about his experiences in school and discussed the importance of attaining a college degree. Jim DeCosmo, […]

NFL Alumni Bowling Challenge Nets $38,000 for Neighborhood Longhorns

Highland Lanes was a lively scene Saturday, Feb. 21, as National Football League (NFL) alumni bowled with teams from Austin businesses and students from DDCE’s Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP). NLP is one of the division’s pre-college academic readiness programs that helps increase student achievement and begin thinking about college at an early age. Highland Lanes […]

Help Support Neighborhood Longhorns Students: Sponsor an NFL Bowling Challenge Team

Whether you’re prone to gutter balls or strikes, we would love to have you join us for the fifth annual NFL Alumni Bowling Challenge that benefits the Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP). Former National Football League players from the NFL Alumni Austin Chapter play alongside sponsors and NLP students for a two-game challenge; during a third […]

Make Every Friday a #burntorangefriday

We know you love to wear burnt orange! Every Friday you now have the opportunity to show your Longhorn pride by wearing burnt orange and raise money for the Neighborhood Longhorns program, thanks to our friends at the University Coop. All you have to do is tweet a photo of yourself wearing burnt orange with […]

It’s Time to Crank Up the Giving to NLP!

Once again this year, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is participating in Amplify Austin, the 24 hour day of giving that supports Austin nonprofit organizations.  We’re sponsoring three initiatives including Neighborhood Longhorns Program. Now is your chance to show support for NLP! Any donation–small or large–is welcomed. And it is easy! For 24 […]

Thanks to Forestar for Fun and Funding!

A group of Neighborhood Longhorn Program kids, staff and friends visited Forestar for a fun lunch and generous gifts including a large donation to support the program. Thank you Forestar for supporting NLP and the future of these children! Below: Patrick Patterson and Howard Nirken flank Jim DeCosmo to accept Forestar’s generous donation to the NLP […]

Nov. 9 Color Me Rad 5K to Benefit NLP

The Neighborhood Longhorns Program (NLP) and its 1000+ volunteer tutors and mentors would like to take you to the magical color wonderland known as Color Me Rad on Saturday, November 9, at 10 a.m. at the Travis County Expo Center. Color Me Rad is a 5K run/walk unlike any other. Every kilometer you will enjoy […]

Thank You Amplifiers!

Thank you for supporting the Neighborhood Longhorns Program during the 24-hour Amplify Austin campaign between March 4 and March 5th! Forty-one people contributed $2,075 to NLP! It was a phenomenal day for local nonprofits and we are grateful for your support. Together, we raised a total of $2.8 million for programs like Free Minds and […]

UT Senior Marzavia Crayton Making a Difference in NLP

Like many Neighborhood Longhorn Program (NLP) alumni, Marzavia Crayton ended up at The University of Texas at Austin. But he also ended up with a $20,000 scholarship to attend UT. Crayton is now a senior majoring in Human Relations within the College of Communications and looking forward to graduate school and a career in Human […]