ARLINGTON, Texas – Monday morning saw the culmination of almost three years of hard work for the Arlington area, as it ushered in the official opening of the North Texas Youth Education Town.
The Youth Education Town, commonly known as the YET, was devised as one of the lasting legacies of Arlington's successful hosting of Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, 2011. That planning came to fruition with the center's ribbon cutting Monday at The Salvation Army in Arlington.
An all-star cast of NFL and Dallas-area figures was on hand to usher in the facility, headlined by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and his family, Arlington mayor Robert Cluck and Commissioner David Jeffrey, National Commander of The Salvation Army.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and career Cowboy Daryl Johnston also appeared to help open the North Texas YET.
The project involves the renovation of The Salvation Army's 38,000 square-foot center in Arlington, which will add an additional 8,000 square feet to the facility.
To make the new center possible, grants were provided by the NFL, the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Arlington Youth Foundation, and the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.
The North Texas YET is the 19th such center nationwide in cities which have hosted Super Bowls. The aim of the facility, operated under The Salvation Army is to make life better for children and youth. The facility will contribute to participants' physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being. Each year, children will benefit from an enriching experience in a Christian environment that is fun, educational, and inspirational.
The YET will include a youth center that will provide children with positive role models and an in-depth curriculum to teach career and life skills such as reading, creativity, technology, critical thinking, communication and social skills, as well as promoting health and fitness.
The project will help solve big problems in Arlington, the seventh largest city in Texas. About seven percent of families and 10 percent of the population live below the poverty line, including 12 percent of children and teens.