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Nelly announces St. Louis high school alumni competition for the next 314 Day

St. Louis-area high school alumni will have a chance to show their school pride during next year’s 314 Day in an Olympic-inspired tournament that will match people who went to different schools.

Nelly and the 314 Day Foundation will organize the High School Alumni Games, where alumni will represent their high schools in athletic, academic and STEM competitions.

The event will celebrate St. Louisans’ most asked question, Nelly said: Where did you go to high school?

“That's pretty much the question that embodies anybody that you ever meet from St. Louis,” Nelly said. “My whole thought process was, how do we use that to kind of galvanize the city and come together to do something that we all can be proud of and take part in?”

R’Monie Minion, a 19-year-old studying Early Childhood Education student from Normandy, and her classmates react as Nelly walks in on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, during 314 Day celebrations at Harris Stowe State University in Midtown.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
R’Monie Minion, a 19-year-old studying Early Childhood Education from Normandy, and her classmates react as Nelly walks in on Tuesday during 314 Day celebrations at Harris-Stowe State University in Midtown.

Nelly, 314 Day Foundation founders Terrell “Young Dip” Evans and Tatum Polk and Harris-Stowe State University President LaTonia Collins-Smith announced the competition on Tuesday. The foundation also donated $31,400 to Harris-Stowe for scholarships.

The March 14 holiday is a nod to the region's original area code and a culture started by Black St. Louisans to celebrate local food, culture, music, fashion and high schools.

Participants in the 2024 competition will have to have gradated from high school at least 10 years earlier to be eligible. Events haven’t been selected yet, but Nelly said high school alumni boards will pick the teams.

Alumni groups at private and public schools will be eligible to compete. Winners of the competitions will receive money that will go toward their high school. The celebration will conclude with a banquet and medal ceremony.

Organizers hope the competition will bring people with diverse talents and skills together.

“There'll be something for everyone,” said Jami Ballentine Dolby, a representative of the 314 Day Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership village growing. We also look forward to those in the community that love to celebrate 314 Day.”

Nelly said organizers are seeking sponsors for the competition, which they want to televise.

“It's just about how do you find something that can basically have the whole city participate in and celebrate,” Nelly said. “We love to give back, and we love to use education as the tool to do it.”

Brian Munoz contributed to this report.

Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.