Birmingham Athletic Partnership makes dreams happen for student-athletes

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — It’s not always easy to pay for all the expenses associated with high school sports teams.

Those costs can add up quickly for athletic departments. That’s why one Birmingham organization stepped in to help.

They’ve gone above and beyond with contributions, and that’s helped teams to go above and beyond on the field.

At Ramsay High School, football isn’t just about fundamentals. It’s also about life lessons.

Ramsay High School Football Coach Reuben Nelson said, “[We’re] teaching kids not to give up, teaching kids teamwork.”

Nelson has quickly built a winning tradition, leading the Rams to a state title in 2016. Just their fifth season as a team.

The school started the program in 2011, and he says he couldn’t have done it without the help of a certain organization.

Nelson explained, “I can call down and say, ‘Hey I need a favor, and this kid needs this to happen.’ And they’ll make it happen.”

That organization is called the Birmingham Athletic Partnership. It uses support from corporate partners to provide money for teams in Birmingham City Schools.

BAP Executive Producer Toney Pugh said, “We’re like a large booster club.”

BAP is a non-profit that began in 2002 as a way to support the district’s teams and fine arts programs.

Since then, they’ve provided assistance totaling more than $4 million dollars.

Pugh explained, “We try to do anything that we can to help the young men and women in the city schools to be able to compete throughout the state of Alabama.”

Not only have Ramsay Rams competed, but they’ve also won titles.

Something that may have been much more challenging, if not for the support of the Birmingham Athletic Partnership.

The partnership gives out around 15 scholarships each year, meaning they help students succeed not only in high school but even beyond.

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