July 10, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Youth Impact Program (YIP) with Northwestern University began its first program this week (July 7) for at-risk boys from Evanston and the metropolitan area to help reduce youth violence and provide life skills, and access to one of the nation's premier universities.
Boys in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades from Evanston, North Lawndale and Chicago have begun a two-week student-athlete experience at Northwestern University. The program replicates the complete academic and athletic day-to-day experience of a Northwestern University student-athlete.
"The program is free for the participants and provides access and relationships with one of country's most prestigious schools, Northwestern University, along with critical life skills over a sustained time period, to help foster social change," said Riki Ellison the founder of the YIP. Ellison is a former San Francisco 49er and three-time Super Bowl Champion.
The YIP participants take morning STEM and English classes on the Northwestern University Campus taught by local public school teachers from both North Lawndale and Evanston with assistance from the Wildcats. In the afternoon, the YIP participants learn essential life skills on nonviolent conflict resolution, bullying, self-confidence and courage in decision making. The students also receive coaching in USA Football Certified contact football by their Northwestern football player mentors and teachers.
Twenty-three student-athletes from the current Northwestern Football team serve as coaches and mentors for the boys. Through an academic program developed in part by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Certified School District, a leadership curriculum extracted from U.S. Marine Corps stationed in the Chicago region. The football plan has been developed by the Northwestern football coaching staff, and through it all, the boys are taught to lead and follow principles that are effective on the field, in the classroom, and in life.
The Northwestern YIP is supported by the Benefitdecisons, American Children's Fund, the Chicago Bear's Bear Care foundation, World Sport Chicago, and individual private donations.
The Northwestern Youth Impact program continues through July 18. To end the first week of camp, on Friday, July 11, campers will spend time with the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall. Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald will also visit with campers during the program.
Follow @YIP_NU for great photos like these throughout the camp:
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