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Competition, Cooperation and Camaraderie

Summer Youth Sports Academy: 48 Summers and Counting (on You!)

Every year, thousands of low-income working parents in Bernalillo County face a dilemma; their kids will have the summer off, but they won’t. The Summer Youth Sports Leadership and Learning Academy (SYSLLA) at UNM offers these parents a unique option for keeping their children and adolescents active, safe and engaged with new experiences. The Academy is run by College of Education’s Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences and has been offered for 48 years!

Brains Don’t Take Vacations

UNM’s campus is a great place to be during the summer. A beautiful landscape and athletic facilities provide a perfect setting for nine weeks of indoor and outdoor learning experiences, sports, STEM and fun. Weekdays, hundreds of energetic “campus campers” enjoy swimming, basketball, flag football, cooperative games and a climbing wall.

Campers are guided by great role models –- UNM graduate and undergraduate students and community leaders. Social skills and peer communication develop through sports and games. Hands-on activities, STEM and other special presentations round out the program. Breakfast and lunch are provided.

The Summer Academy is a great place to make new friends and become comfortable on a college campus.

The Summer Academy is a great place to make new friends and become comfortable on a college campus.

Send a Kid to Camp!

The College of Education works with Bernalillo County, the City of Albuquerque, and generous donors to sustain the SYSLLA program. Parents are asked to pay $50 per child if they are able, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Each donor gift of $125 sends a child or adolescent to SYSLLA, inspiring joy, fitness and learning through an extraordinary program for the full summer.

To support the SYSLLA, please visit:

Summer 2019’s Academy

  • Covers the entire summer: June 3 through July 31
  • Operates from 8:00am to 5:00pm, M - F 
  • Is led by health and exercise specialists
  • Uses Ph.D. and Masters level students to lead the campers
  • Uses UNM STEM experts to administer the STEM component