BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU Athletics on Thursday launched its Junior Tigers program at Louisiana Key Academy in Baton Rouge.

The Junior Tigers Program, supported by Shell, brings youth-focused assemblies to schools and community centers around the state of Louisiana as a part of LSU Athletics’ priorities to increase collaboration with campus and community partners and to affirm its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The assemblies are hosted by LSU Athletics Ambassadors, who teach students the importance of the LSU Athletics Core Values, including teamwork, integrity, growth, excellence, respect and service.

Thursday’s assembly also featured appearances by current LSU student-athletes – including members of the softball and swimming teams – and by Mike the mascot and the Tiger cheerleaders.

“Our Lions were ecstatic to have LSU Athletics visit our school,” said Caitlin Boudreaux, Louisiana Key Academy Second Grade Reading Specialist. “As a teacher, it’s so good seeing LSU student-athletes and coaches go out into the community and make a difference in young lives. They brought so much positive energy and fun to LKA’s Lion Den! Our students are proud to give a huge GEAUX TIGERS!”

LSU Athletics Ambassadors include former Tiger greats like All-American and three-time Super Bowl champion Kevin Faulk, gymnastics coach D-D Breaux, baseball coach Paul Mainieri, diving coach Doug Shaffer and volleyball coach Fran Flory.

“This is a wonderful initiative by LSU Athletics to connect with the youth in our community,” Mainieri said after Thursday’s assembly. “Today’s activities promoted camaraderie among the kids and allowed them to interact in a very productive way with their peers. These events can have a tremendous impact upon the lives of young people, and we’re very proud to participate in such a meaningful project.”

Thursday’s assembly was conducted for an enthusiastic group of second-graders, who learned the values of teamwork and respect for others by engaging in a block-building project. The students were asked to work together to construct a “habitat” for Mike the Tiger.

LSU Athletics collaborated with doctoral candidate Haley Shows and the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education to develop the curriculum and activities for the program.

“The kids loved it,” Mainieri said, “and it demonstrated to them that excellence can be achieved through teamwork and respect for one another.”

Click Junior Tigers Program to learn more about the program and to request an assembly for your school or community center.