Ryan Mayer

Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Thursday that he will be donating $3 million to the Emily Krzyzewski Center as part of a three-year $15 million fundraising campaign for the non-profit organization that seeks to help low-income students K-12 make their way to college. The center, which opened 12 years ago and is named in honor of Coach K’s late mother, provides various tutoring and advisement programs to kids in low-income communities.

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Krzyzewski’s donation, made in conjunction with his wife Mickie, is part of the “Game Changer” campaign with the stated goals to “support Center operations, enhance educational programs, ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability, and add a 4,500 square foot addition to the facility.”

Emily K Center executive director Adam Eigenrauch told the Herald Sun that the campaign will go a long way in helping students in the area reach their potential.

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“The need for opportunity in our community is significant and pressing,” he said. “Currently, only one in five low-income students in North Carolina will enroll in college, and in Durham Public Schools, two of every three students are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program.”

Eigenrauch noted that nearly 85 percent of students in the center’s K-College programs come from homes where the parents did not attend college.

“When they attend and graduate from college, they will be the first in their families to have done so,” Eigenrauch said.

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Krzyzewski is a first-generation college graduate himself, which was part of the motivation behind starting the foundation in 2003.