Press Release Archive
NASS Founder Tom Tillapaugh Invited to the White House for First Lady's Reception; Street Schools are Helping America's Youth
Through Tillapaugh's 23 year career at the Denver Street School, and his work since 1996 with the National Association of Street Schools, he has devoted his life to reaching troubled youth and giving them a second chance through education.
Speaking directly to the community leaders, Mrs. Bush declared, "You are adults across the United States who are sharing your time and wisdom and love with our nation's young people. You are serving as role models and friends. And by becoming involved in the lives of children and teens, you're helping young people make the wise decisions that lead to healthy and successful lives."
Mrs. Bush gave a passionate address about the need to help boys in particular. Tillapaugh offered, "How do you help troubled youth, especially boys? Being with them. In the personal relationships between caring adults and youth at Street Schools, we try to set a positive example of everything about life: how to treat people, how to make good choices, how to act and react in the face of adversity and even how to manage money. Kids begin to dwell less on their circumstances and begin to hope for a successful future."
Speaking directly to methodology, Tillapaugh remarked, "One of the means that we use in Denver and nationally at our member schools to reach out to young men is through our basketball programs. They provide such a strong incentive for school attendance and performance to remain eligible to play. It gives us extra time with them traveling to games and practices and through that means, we are able to re-engage many of them in working toward a positive future."
President Bush, who introduced the First Lady, added, "Government is not really about love -- there may be loving people in government, but government itself is laws and justice; love is found in the hearts of our citizens who are in the neighborhoods."
Mr. Tillapaugh has had the privilege of representing Street Schools in Helping America's Youth events in Washington, D.C. and Denver in 2005 and 2006. Joining Tom in a prominent role at the Denver conference was Denver Street School graduate Jordan Suniga, who was selected for the honor of introducing Mrs. Bush.