Youth Impact Program Concludes Houston Program For “At Risk” Youth At Texas Southern University
HOUSTON, Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Riki Ellison, three-time Super Bowl champion and Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), in partnership with the NFL, British Petroleum, and Texas Southern University (TSU), have announced the completion and success of the Youth Impact Program at Texas Southern University this summer. The Youth Impact Program is an academic STEM initiative coupled with football skills that runs through the month of July for “at risk” boys in the Houston area.
Ellison opens with: “The program was three weeks long, replicating a university student-athlete experience with a focus on English and math at one of our country’s oldest and most prestigious historically black universities, TSU. All clothing, food, transportation, equipment, and academic supplies are provided free of charge. Teachers from Houston area public school districts participated alongside current Texas Southern University student-athletes in this academic experience that impacted and assisted the ‘at risk’ youth from Houston. The camp ran from July 16th through August 3rd.”
The founder of the program, former ten-year NFL veteran and three-time Super Bowl champion, with the 49ers, Riki Ellison, stated, “This program was put in place here at TSU and with their student-athletes to focus on directly addressing one of our nation’s ‘at risk’ inner city youth populations from within their own community. It is the first time we have used a historically black university as we believe our program and idea cannot and should not be limited to larger universities with ample facilities and resources.”
“We have had tremendous leadership and drive for this program to be at TSU and in Houston from the well known and passionate U.S. Congressional Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. Representative Lee fully stands behind and believes that this program changes the tide and makes a significant impact on our inner city youth and their future. Further she endorsed the positive impact that the Youth Impact Program has on the community and the youth who participate in it from the Houston public school system.”
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee comments, “In Houston we care about our youth. One of the principle ways we express our care is through the Youth Impact Program or YIP. For years YIP has been partnering with universities around the country to bring a free-of-charge summer experience for young ‘at risk’ boys that mixes football practice with academics.
“It is important that we do not place athletics and academics in contention with one another, but recognize and embrace the significant value both play in a child’s life. YIP realizes this and I strongly support their program goals.”
Riki Ellison also commented that, “The Youth Impact Program, now in its eighth year, is also one of the first in the nation to lead a proactive focus on preventative concussion training with proper use and technique of contact in football for young boys entering the game for the first time. The football instructors, who also mentor the youth’s academics, are current Texas Southern football players who have all received certification for Concussion Prevention Training by USA Football and the NFL.”
The NFL through the Executive Vice President of Player Engagement, Mr. Troy Vincent has directly supported this program with resources as this type of positive outreach is important to the NFL and their franchise’s communities. British Petroleum (BP) in an act of social responsibility and support of the STEM academic educational development mission has stepped forth in support of this particular program as the major prime sponsor. Additionally, Rhett Ellison, a recent draft selection of the Minnesota Vikings and son of Riki Ellison, is a contributor to the Houston Youth Impact Program at TSU.
Ellison closed his comments with: “I would personally like to thank and express our gratitude to our sponsors: BP, NFL Charities, NFL Youth Football Fund, and Smart Technologies for their invaluable support in enabling this program to go forward.”
Riki Ellison is available for on the record interviews.
SOURCE Youth Impact Program