In an effort to help young men and woman transition from high school to college or the workforce, A Second Chance, Inc. developed a basketball camp entitled, “Camp COPES (Children Optimizing Personal Experience through Sports).”

Camp COPES has been in existence for seven years, providing a unique experience for participants by equipping them with necessary life skills through teamwork, competition and mentoring. The camp is held Monday-Thursday throughout the summer at A Second Chance Inc., 8350 Frankstown Ave. The games begin at 4 p.m. and end at approximately 8 p.m. The summer games end with a Playoff and Championship week.


Camp COPES participants do more than play basketball during this summer-long commitment. With the guidance of mentors, they positive character traits and values centered around four key areas: 1. Conviction, 2. Dignity, 3. Respect and 4. Honesty.

Camp COPES has experienced great success. There are two leagues: a younger league including youth ages 12-14 and an older league of youth ages 15-18. The average attendance is 160-200 children each year. It has served more than 1,000 students since its inception in 2005.

Camp COPES provides a positive outlet for children. According to Tim Gonzalez, vice president of Child and Family Services, “There are so many life lessons that can be taught through sports, such as setting goals and working hard to obtain those goals. In addition to staying off the streets during the summer months, participants learn how to work within a team structure and what it means to be disciplined. They can take those life lessons and apply them to every area of life as they move into adulthood.”

A Second Chance Inc. has a mission to “strengthen and preserve healthy kinship families for children.” It has a vision to “create a world where all youth are given an equal opportunity to grow into responsible adults; where abuse addiction cycles are broken.” For more information about A Second Chance Inc., visit or call 412-342-0600.

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