Next One Up helps student athletes


  • Leadership development program
  • Tuition and soft supports
  • Individual and Family Counseling
  • Academic and special needs assessments
  • School visits and placement support
  • Individualized assistance
  • Weekly study sessions and tutoring

Succeed throughout the years

  • Weekly Academic enrichment
  • Skiing and camping experiences
  • 5 week summer academic program
  • Training and conditioning
  • 12 hours of weekly out of school time programming

Envision a bright future

  • Long-Term Mentoring
  • College counseling and support for first generation college goers
  • Workforce development
  • Job placement
  • Program members become our program mentors

Next One Up members participate in a 6th day of school.jpg

What we do

NOU is a unique mentoring program that harnesses the power of sports and education to radically alter the course for boys in Baltimore City that have been identified as “high-risk” due to circumstances in their personal life. We serve as advocates, social workers and mentors for young men and use sports as a carrot, leading them towards greater physical and mental health. Our goal is to ensure that middle school students find their way to a good high school where they can truly thrive, and that they successfully graduate on a and that they successfully graduate on a clear path to college or career..

Through our “6th Day of School” approach, NOU offers young athletes 450 hours of Out of School Time Programming each year, including academic tutoring, assistance with school placement, financial aid counseling, scholarship support for private high schools, SAT/ACT prep courses, and support for the college application process.  

In providing student athletes with long-term mentoring and offering weekly connections through school visits, programming tutoring and practices, we ensure that each participant feels connection to a guiding force in their life. As we tell our young men, “this is an opportunity, not a charity.”  Not every child will see the power in this commitment, but those who do, succeed.


1. Academic Support and Out-of School Time

NOU provides eight hours of Out of School Time Programming each week. The cornerstone of our OST programming is the Sunday program, which is offered bi-weekly at the 29th Street Community Center. The Sunday program functions as a ‘sixth day of school’, covering everything from homework help for middle schoolers, to college counseling for high school students, and workforce development trainings for older alumni (18+). Weekly leadership trainings and recreational opportunities round out our offerings.

Over the summer, NOU hosts an intensive five-week summer camp, which provides academic enrichment designed to reduce the ‘summer slide’.


2. Sports Opportunities

100% of our middle and high school participants are active team members on a club or school sports team; and sports opportunities are a powerful motivator for our student-athletes. Because of this, NOU has begun offering bi-weekly conditioning workouts as part of regular OST programming.

These workouts augment the intensive sports training and broader education on health and personal wellness offered over the summer. NOU’s local summer camp experience pairs sports training with academic instruction. NOU also hosts a week-long college immersion retreat each summer. While the focus of the week is college immersion and soft skills, student also have the opportunity to participate in intensive sports training on campus in either basketball, football or lacrosse.


3. Long-term mentoring

The core of NOU’s program is its longitudinal nature, and the long-term mentoring provided to student-athletes by staff and volunteers. Student have the ability to join the program in middle school and receive guidance and mentoring throughout the critical middle and high school years, through college and into the early years of their career. The formal and informal mentoring provided during this time is unparalleled in its breadth and duration.

In matching student athletes with mentors and offering weekly connections through school visits, tutoring and practices, we strive to ensure that each participant feels connection to a guiding force in their life. We believe this connection is vital as our students confront the negative influences that derail so many young men in Baltimore.


Furthermore, we build mentors from within. All Next One Up athletes agree to “pull the next one up”, by mentoring younger participants once they themselves have completed high school.


4. High school & college access

School environment can greatly impact students’ success and we work with our participants and their families to identify schools that are particularly well suited to their abilities and desires. NOU provides a unique service to students: highly individualized admissions counseling at both the high school and college levels. This includes tutoring and test prep, essay counseling, facilitated school visits, and assistance with the financial aid/scholarship processes. The goal of all counseling is to ensure that students are placed in the schools – public or private- where they can truly thrive.


    5. workforce development

    NOU offers focused workforce development programming for our ‘older students and alumni’: young men who have graduated high school and may or may not be attending college. The bi-weekly programming includes open gym and pick-up basketball, followed by trainings on career skills, including resume writing, and discussions of how to best utilize online and in person networking opportunities. On various weeks, representatives from different industries speak to participants about opportunities in their field.

    Workforce development is a natural capstone to our existing slate of multi-year services. We believe this connection is of great value for young men striving to find their footing in the challenging first years of a trade or career.



    • 100% participants graduate high school on time
    • 100% accepted into 2 or 4 year college
    • 90% matriculate to college, others choose a trade through our established  workforce partnerships
    • Average Student Engagement: 8 years
    • 450 hours a year of out of school time and academic enrichment per year
    • Students spend over 100 hours a year on college campuses
    • 100% of middle and high school students participate in sports
    • 93% report that the program has made them a better leader


    Our Team


    Matt Hanna

    Founder, Executive Director
    Hometown: Geneva, NY
    College: Johns Hopkins University
    Captain, Mens Lacrosse

    Tre Minor Program Director of Next One Up.jpg

    Tre Minor

    Program Director
    Hometown: Columbia, SC
    College: Cornell University
    2x Captain, Football

    Charlotte Owsianny

    Development and Strategic Initiatives
    Hometown: Mobile, AL
    College: Loyola University

    Shel Simon

    Student Activities and Experiences
    Hometown: Baltimore, MD
    College: UMUC

    Christine Hryzak

    Academic Coordinator, Summer Program Director
    Hometown: Seneca Falls, NY
    College: Loyola University

    Mavis Jackson

    College Placement and Support
    Hometown: Baltimore, MD
    College: Towson University

    Danielle Kasemeyer

    Administrative Assistant
    Hometown: Corning, NY
    College: Towson University

    Eddie Penney

    Leadership Program Director
    US Navy SEAL (Ret.)
    Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
    College: American Military University


    Board of directors


    Board Chair
    Owner, Amy John Advisory



    Vice Chair
    Partner at Gallagher, Evelius and Jones, LLP



    Managing Partner, entreQuest



    Founder & Owner of Skill Capital Management



    Principal, Gerard E. Evans, Ltd.



    Director of Admissions, Towson University


    Director of Admissions, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School



    CPA, Securities and Exchange Commission



    Social Worker, Kennedy Krieger Institute
    NOU Alum



    Attorney at Venable, LLP



    Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Johns Hopkins University