ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Youth Impact Program (YIP) and a three-time Super Bowl winner with the San Francisco 49ers announced the achievements of the Youth Impact Program in 2010. Over 200 inner city boys participated at the 2010 Youth Impact Programs at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY and Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. "It was an opportunity of a lifetime for these young men as they created strong lasting relationships, developed academic skills and life skills that opens dreams to attend a university," Ellison said.
Three of the measurable achievements from the 2010 program include:
(1) 88% of the boys indicated that YIP has made them realize their lives can be better than expected.
(2) There was significant improvement in mathematics test scores and in the mastery of vocabulary.
(3) The boys showed significant gains in confidence about their own abilities and their future.
"Most important was the direct reach and personal bonding that happened between the NCAA Student Athlete and the young 'at risk boy' of which shared experiences created trust that established a relationship that will go beyond the program and impact their lives." Ellison remarked, "Giving these young men a new and positive direction at a very formative age makes a direct impact to their community as a significant portion of inner city 'at risk' boys end up going down the wrong path."
The Youth Impact Program (YIP) partners with the NFL's Youth Football Fund, Tulane University, Syracuse University, Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints. The program is designed for inner-city-at-risk boys from ages 9 to 12. YIP uses local elementary teachers from the community school districts to participate as mentors and teachers, coupled with over 50 active NCAA student-athletes from the participating universities. The young "at risk" boys are brought to the campuses with the appeal of football, immersed in a collegiate environment with daily academic time blocks focusing on language skills, mathematics and life skills. The life skills component focuses on gang prevention, conflict resolution, health issues and leadership. The boys are also provided with on-campus meals, transportation and athletic clothing apparel.
Though the program is the right thing to do at the right time for the right reasons, Ellison stated in his YIP Annual Report "The 2010 Youth Impact Program faced considerable challenges during this past year. The economic downturn that our country is experiencing has made the situation these boys face even more dire, and it has made finding and securing additional funding challenging for YIP. As such, the 2010 Youth Impact Program in addition to the NFL's Youth Football Fund support was able to raise $160,000 in private capital in monetary and in-kind donations from university partners, SMART Technologies and individual donors."
The Youth Impact Program was also awarded a grant from the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation as part of their recognition of charities during their annual banquet at the Lott Trophy ceremony. The grant was announced at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California during The Lott Trophy Presentation to Wisconsin Defense End JJ Watts on December 12th with Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott making the presentation to Riki Ellison.
"These achievements for the young men, their families and communities as well as Tulane and Syracuse Universities would have not been possible without all of our generous donors who gave their time, effort and funding." Ellison also recognized United States Congresswoman, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee from the City of Houston, Texas, a prominent leader in Congress for education and welfare "as a strong out front advocate and champion of the youth impact program as she recognizes the overall impact it has on the inner cities throughout our nation."
The Youth Impact Program is in the process of expanding to various cities that host a NFL franchise and a NCAA university. YIP is projecting to have an additional 3 to 4 programs for 2011.