Mt. Airy resident Nancy Peter's life's work is in what she calls "out-of-school-time."
She works for the University of Pennsylvania developing after-school and enrichment programs to help the kids of this city live better lives.
A couple of years ago, she and her partner founded the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collective.
""The collective is a way of cultivating partnerships across neighborhoods through sports," Peter said. "We have 28 members who do anything you can think of to nurture youth development."
Then, last year, the U.S. Attorney's office reached out to Peter. They wanted to do more about youth incarceration. More importantly, they wanted to intervene before it even got to that step.
That's when the Sports for Juvenile Justice Program was born.
"When a kid is sentenced in lieu of incarceration or probation he is sent to us to be placed in a sport," Peter said.
The program offers a whole array of sports from tennis to lacrosse, from rowing to fishing and from wrestling to ultimate frisbee."
"If my own 15-year-old son were arrested I would much rather he play sports than be under house arrest," Peter said.
The program was so successful that it recently won an international award at the Beyond Sport Summit.
The summit focuses on ways sports can be involved in the lives of children beyond the field of play.
"We're the only program like this in the country," Peter said. "We're really happy to receive the award."
Peter acknowledged that the program is only in its initial stages, just 40 kids are signed up, but she hopes that the program will grow.
"When we first started we had a hard time getting people to show up for their sports," Peter said. "Now everyone is delighted to be there."