Emmitt Smith Shows Off Arlington Youth Center

Youth center in Arlington to open this summer

Construction on a youth center in Arlington funded by a $1 million donation from the NFL is nearing completion.

Work began in the fall on the North Texas Youth Education Town, which will offer educational programs to youth and their parents. The NFL donates money for such facilities to every Super Bowl host city.

The 8,000-square-foot facility is expected to open this summer.

Emmitt Smith, YET chairman and Hall of Fame running back, said the center would change young people's lives for a lifetime.

YET will offer a range of programs from tutoring to life skills to sports and arts.

Trevor Thompson, a Baylor-bound senior at Seguin High School, said he is excited about the sports and arts programs.

"I like to play the piano, and I like to play basketball," he said. "I believe the music room here will allow me to be a better pianist and the fitness room will allow me to be a better athlete because I believe a strong mind deserves a strong body."

Arlington High School junior Hoang Luu has his sights set on the future computer lab, saying YET would bring the digital age to youth who don't have high-speed Internet access at home.

"Those students who live in homes with no computers or those who don't even have a permanent place to live are at a disadvantage," said Luu, who lives with his mother at the Salvation Army's family life center.

The center will also include a Dallas Cowboys Fitness Zone and dance studio.

"This [studio] gives them the opportunity to see some of the things they see on television -- like 'Dancing With the Stars,' and come right here and try to do it right here and have some of the instructors teach them the fundamentals of dance," said Smith, who competed on the reality show.

"It'll be great when you see the smiles of the kids come in," he said.

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