Weekly Update

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Last week I told you about our recently launched Opportunity Memphis R3 (Rethinking, Rebuilding, Rebranding) program. As a reminder, it is geared towards opportunity youth (ages 16-24, not in school and unemployed), and it offers a guided path to further their education or prepare them for workforce readiness.


I want to share two recent success stories. Kynia Howard and Justin Thompson were both in our first session of Opportunity Memphis R3 that ran March 21, 2022 through April 15, 2022. They successfully completed the program and expressed interest in the healthcare industry.


Through our allocation of American Rescue Plan Act dollars, we were able to provide an additional $2,100 for two of them to attend a local Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. I am extremely proud to say they graduated yesterday after completing a five-week program at Professional Allied Health LLC and each have a job at a local healthcare provider.




Young people like these two are the exact reason we created the program. They had the desire to achieve and to be more, they just needed some help and guidance in getting where they wanted to go.


To Kynia and Justin—congratulations! We’re so proud of you. Keep up the good work.


To Ken Moody and his team in the Office of Community Affairs—thank you for all you are doing to help our community.


Project round-up: If you’ve driven down East Parkway past Liberty Park recently, you might have noticed significant progress has been made on the Memphis Sports and Event Center.




Once completed this November, the 227,000 sq.ft. facility will include indoor basketball and volleyball hardcourts and be adaptable for other sports like wrestling, gymnastics, cheerleading, as well as convocation and commencement events. The complex will include a café and concessions area, as well as outdoor turf fields. Follow them on social to stay up-to-date on everything happening with the facility.


Another project that is moving quickly is the new Leftwich Tennis Center. Slated to be completed next spring, this new facility will be the largest tennis facility within hundreds of miles. It will have 24 outdoor and 12 indoor courts — replacing the current facility of 8 outdoor and 4 indoor courts.


This project is a public-private partnership between the University of Memphis, the City of Memphis, Tennis Memphis, and a host of private donors and will be the future home of the University of Memphis Women’s and Men’s Tennis. If you get a chance, drive down southern just north of Audubon Park to see it.



The new indoor facility.



The new outdoor courts.


And lastly—Accelerate Memphis projects. As a reminder, the City (in partnership with City Council) issued $200 million in bonds to to facilitate catalytic community projects in three focus areas (Activating Memphis 3.0, Improving Our Parks, and Revitalizing Citywide Assets) all across our city.


Currently, there are 130 Accelerate Memphis projects underway from a new Pine Hill Golf Course and Club house


pine hill


to a new Gaisman Community Center and adjacent soccer fields




,and everything else in between. All of the Accelerate Memphis projects are slated to be completed by December 2023 or before.


Best in class: Locally, we all know St. Jude and how the work they do there every day is making the world a better place. Recently, others around the country were also taking note. U.S. News and World Report identified St. Jude as the second-best pediatric cancer care hospital in the country. Additionally, Morning Consult ranked St. Jude as the most trusted nonprofit in the U.S.


These are both well-earned and much deserved distinctions for such a worthy institution, and the thousands of Memphians who are involved in this life-saving work.


Enjoy your weekend!




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