Lifelong Learning

Learning is a lifelong journey. That’s why we create and maintain partnerships to promote learning throughout all stages of life.

The Camp That Changed His Life

picture of Abraham VazquezGetting kicked out of a summer camp can be a devastating experience — unless you're someone like Abraham Vazquez, who turned it into a life-changing moment.

Vazquez, now a student at Ivy Tech Community College with dreams of becoming a teacher, was kicked out of a summer program for children at Purdue. He was booted from the program after getting into a physical fight.

The next year, the staff of the Purdue Athletes Life Success Program (PALS) — known then as the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) — talked with Vazquez and gave him another chance.

Vazquez has now been involved with the program for several years — including serving as a counselor who deals with behavioral issues.

"This camp has really changed my life," Vazquez says. "One of the biggest lessons I learned is not to give up. Now, I have an opportunity to share that incredible message with the kids I get to develop personal relationships with through this camp."

PALS serves kids in the Lafayette-West Lafayette community whose parents or guardians meet certain income guidelines. The goal is to inspire kids to stay active and healthy. But as Vazquez's story shows — the program does much more.

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