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developing kids and strengthening communities through youth sports

Mike Tate, a member of the sales team at Liberty Carton Company in Golden Valley, Minn., grew up in North Minneapolis, which is where he first became involved in youth sports.

As a nine-year-old boy, Tate became engaged with Hospitality House Youth Development (HHYD), an outreach organization focused on spiritual, intellectual and physical development of inner city youth and their families. He fondly recalls attending ball games in north Minneapolis with the Fiterman family and their support of area youth. At age 18, Tate started coaching youth sports through HHYD, and he hasn't looked back. Decades later, he's still coaching and he serves as board advisor to the organization. He was instrumental in revitalizing HHYD's Friday night basketball program for at-risk 13- to 17- year-olds.

Rev. Johnny Hunter, Executive Director at HHYD, describes the positive influence Tate has brought to their program, "Growing up in Northside, Mike always had a passion for youth and sports. He applied that enthusiasm and grew up to be a positive role model for so many young men and women. Here at Hospitality House, we believe that every child should have every opportunity. Through education, athletics, and community programs, youth are encountering positive role models like Mike, who are equipping them to become leaders of integrity."

In addition to his involvement with HHYD, Tate also volunteers as a coach for the North Commons Bulldogs football team, which is one of the youth leagues sponsored by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. He is a firm believer in connecting with youth through healthy activities in a safe environment. In a recent interview with the Minneapolis StarTribune*, Tate says this connection is about developing young people and supporting families. He told the paper, "If I can give the kid a positive day for two hours, the parents may see more positive in their kids."

Tate's investment in the kids has paid off. Not only has he formed lifelong friendships through the programs, but the kids he once coached are now giving back and have become coaches themselves.

* You can read the full StarTribune article here.