Jakki Davis left corporate America in 2007 and with her husband, Corvin, pursued a lifelong dream to open a gym.
They knew it would take time, but both were ready to help others on a full-time basis. They made the gym mobile and hosted basketball camps at Vandalia Christian School, where their daughters attended.
In 2010, D-Up became a nonprofit with a mission to teach the children in Guilford County healthier eating and activity habits.
Using basketball as A platform, D-Up helps children maintain weight or reduce the weight gain.
Corvin, who received a full basketball scholarship to attend N.C. A&T State University, not only loves the game but also sees how basketball contributes to skillful, fundamentally sound, smart and physically fit young people. Jakki wanted to help the children develop lifelong healthful habits.
D-Up programs include awareness, prevention and intervention programs for toddlers to teenagers to reduce childhood obesity.
One of their most popular programs, D-UP Tots, is offered during the summer in local day cares and summer camps.
Through the pilot Washington Street Enrichment Program last summer, nearly 50 children participated in physical activity, nutrition, academics, and character development activities free of charge.
The summer program was received so well that an after-school program was established, and nearly 30 children attend camp from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Ritz Theater on Washington Street.
D-UP has established partnerships and collaborations in the surrounding community, including Vistas and Bonner Leaders from High Point University who volunteer daily by providing guidance, inspiration, and tutoring with the children.
“The greatest strengths of this nonprofit is definitely the passion Corvin and Jakki Davis have for helping the children,” said Jonathan Paez, Bonner Leader from High Point University. “They spend countless hours creating a curriculum at PNAC as well as putting on other activities such as football and basketball camps or days in the park so that every child in the community has a chance to participate.”
Kemi Ademuyewo, an AmeriCorps Vista member who works with the Hayden Harman Foundation, and places Bonner Leader Students with D-Up, said this partnership is the epitome of taking a village to raise a child.
This nonprofit “provides a great service to the High Point community, molding youth into future leaders through impacting their physical activity, strengthening their academic support, providing nutrition education and snacks, as well as developing their character,” Ademuyewo said.
A d vendor with Guilford County Schools, D-Up customizes clinics for the district’s after-school enrichment program during teacher workdays or early-release days.
These D-Up programs educate the ACES students on the importance of physical activity and nutrition; along with reinforcing Guilford County Schools’ character development traits.
“Let’s Move in the New Park on Washington,” another partnership with the Hayden Harman Foundation, brings together children of all ages for two hours of physical activity in a safe environment at no charge. Monthly themes include March Madness, Field Day and Color War, Zumba Party and Health Screening.
Volunteers play a big role in D-Up.
“Several of our volunteers were participants in our skills training clinics and camps since they were in elementary school,” Jakki Davis said. “They started volunteering when they reached high school and remained dedicated and committed volunteers until they graduated.”
The Davises, who live in the Washington Street community, are looking for financial supporters, too.
Money is needed for items including pedometers, fitness ball seats, computers to field trips.
Ruth D. Anderson is executive director of The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro and member of the Program Committee of The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.