UT Neighborhood Longhorns Program To Raise ‘Touchdowns’ For Education

Jody Conradt and the Neighborhood Longhorns ProgramDecked out in burnt orange down to her metallic sandals, retired Texas women’s basketball coach Jody Conradt launched the Neighborhood Longhorns Program tear-pad campaign this morning at the Hancock Center H-E-B.

Through Oct. 17, Texans are encouraged to tear off and add checkout coupons to their grocery bills in the amounts of $1 (an extra point), $3 (a field goal), or $6 (a touchdown) at H-E-B stores in Central Texas. All of the proceeds go to NLP.

Conradt and UT Athletics helped found NLP in 1991. Since then, the program has awarded more than half a million dollars in scholarships to students who have excelled in Title 1 elementary and middle schools within the Austin Independent School District.

“[NLP] is for those who support UT,” Conradt said. “And those who support young people.”

In the 2008-09 school year, NLP reached 5,300 students in 30 different schools, 441 received scholarship awards, and 385 University of Texas at Austin students served as tutors and mentors.

But they’d like to do more. NLP Program Director Luis Murillo said he frequently hears from other districts in need of help.

“This is the community service arm for UT athletics,” UT Athletics spokeswoman Natalie England said. “But NLP needs awareness on campus, tutors on campus.”

NLP is already partnered with numerous community service fraternities, such as the Iron Spikes and Texas Lassos, but now that they have moved their offices on campus, Murillo expects the word to get out much quicker about NLP. “Student orgs are now within walking distance to our offices,” Murillo says. “The sky’s the limit.”

NLP has moved close to a dozen times since its inception in 1991, but Murillo thinks this pattern will change starting now. “We’re finally at a place where we’re like, ‘This is home.'”

From left: Jennifer Mueller, Senior Marketing Manager at H-E-B and NLP Advisory Board Member; Jody Conradt, retired Texas Women’s Basketball coach; Celine E. Ruiz-Snowden, NLP Executive Director; Luis Murillo, NLP Program Director.


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