SAINT PAUL -- The National Hockey League's (NHL) Minnesota Wild today announced defenseman Matt Dumba has joined Athletes Committed to Educating Students (ACES) as a player representative. As part of his role as a player representative, Dumba will lead educational efforts on behalf of the Minnesota Wild and serve as a role model for ACES' 900 students in the Twin Cities.
He joins ACES in hopes of helping to eliminate the academic achievement gap, which in Minnesota, is among the worst in the nation. The ACES program provides intentional, project-based curriculum and learning experiences utilizing sports, math, and social-emotional learning for low-income students in grades 4-8 in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Dumba and Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke, together with Minnesota United FC goaltender Steward Ceus and Minnesota Lynx forward Lindsay Whalen, will also be collectively matching $24,000 in donations to ACES on Give to the Max Day. Give to the Max Day, a state-wide, once-a-year celebration to encourage donations to community organizations that make Minnesota a better place, is set for Nov. 17, 2016.
Dumba will also work with ACES to bring public awareness to its mission of closing the academic achievement gap. Dumba has been very active in the Twin Cities community since being drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2012. In addition to his efforts to help ACES, he supports mental health initiatives, the United Heroes League and makes routine visits to children at local hospitals.
The sole mission of ACES is to help reduce the academic achievement gap in the Twin Cities and improve the likelihood of success for underserved students. Founded in 1994, ACES has served over 5,000 youth throughout the Twin Cities. ACES will run programs before-school, after-school, and during the summer, providing an extra academic boost to the students that need it most. ACES participants have higher high school attendance rates, higher reading proficiency scores, higher graduation rates, including on-time graduation, and better school engagement.