May 6, 2024
Founded by Christopher Encarnacion of Washington Heights, NY, the Youth Sports Access Program provides athletic equipment and leadership development to transform lives.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, May 6, 2024 —Christopher Encarnacion is passionate about empowering underserved youth through athletics. A lacrosse player at Centenary University, the Washington Heights, NY, resident is the founder of the Youth Sports Access Program, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for youth to grow through activities that promote teamwork and leadership development. Encarnacion graduated from Centenary University on Saturday, May 4, with the Class of 2024, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Social Media Marketing.

A resident of Washington Heights, NY, Encarnacion initially chose to attend Centenary for its strong business program and reputation for offering a personalized learning environment. “The small class sizes and the opportunity to work one-on-one with professors were incredibly appealing to me,” he explained. “The emphasis on individualized attention and mentorship at Centenary resonated with my learning style and aspirations.”

Once on campus, he learned about Enactus, the University’s competitive business team. The student-led organization, which has won recognition at national and international competitions, focuses on social entrepreneurship projects and holds a patent for Shieldz Wearable Technologies, a wristband that detects fatigue in drivers. The University recently dedicated the Centenary Institute for Entrepreneurship, which is now the permanent home for Enactus. “I was drawn to Enactus because of its mission to create positive social impact, empower people in need, and inspire change through entrepreneurial action,” Encarnacion explained. “Enactus provided me with the platform, resources, and support necessary to develop my leadership, teamwork, and entrepreneurial skills. It gave me the opportunity to make a tangible and meaningful difference in my community and the world.”

The Enactus mission aligned perfectly with Encarnacion’s personal goal to inspire positive change in young people. Growing up in an urban area, he knew they often face pressure to engage in self-destructive activities and wanted to change that trajectory. So last year, he founded the Youth Sports Access Program. Working as an Enactus project leader, he and fellow Enactus members spearheaded a drive to collect more than $3,000 worth of sports equipment to distribute to schools and youth organizations in underserved areas. This spring, the team presented the Youth Sports Access Program as its project at the national Enactus competition.

Now that he’s earned his college degree, Encarnacion plans to pursue a career in social media marketing, while continuing to grow his nonprofit: “I want to dedicate myself to building this nonprofit up as far as it can go. I am passionate about empowering underserved youth and I am committed to expanding the Youth Sports Access Program’s reach, impact, and effectiveness to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of young people, families, and communities.”

Of his experience at Centenary, Encarnacion added, “Centenary University is a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive community that encourages diversity, creativity, and innovation. It provides a safe and nurturing space for all students, regardless of background.” 


Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success. Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.


Kristen Volkland
Erbach Communications Group
(201) 960-3102

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