Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies
Players playing on the ground
Our Youth Impact Programs began yesterday! Read below for a first day look from the Founder and Chairman, Riki Ellison.

First Day of Maryland YIP

From the terrace overlooking the game field on our first day at our first program at the University of Maryland with a summer breeze matching the stunning day in College Park, Maryland.

They came in by buses, drop-offed in street clothes from poor and welfare support systems with outlying of the newest hoop shoes, swag in their individual dress of sizes from big to small, some from the real hood, some think they are from the real hood but are just trying to find something to believe in … to follow, to lead, to challenge and to fit in amongst themselves. Most found a way to get to the 7:30 am buses, some had no parents or not a parent guardian that cared enough about them to get them there. Most have been raised as the head of the household at 12 and 13, because most are from single women units that receive government assistance and don’t know their fathers. They are the disciplinary role of their siblings and the ones responsible for making meals and getting them ready for school. They have not been disciplined nor understand respect and have been raised and taught by single mothers and matriarchs.

The Marines led by Command SgtMaj Higdon and our strong leader of the program itself, DanPallante laid down how we are going to pave the street out of the street in our boys. Respect and Discipline. Through some tears, the Maryland Team broke their spirits yesterday with hard sweat from running the stadium stairs, doing push-ups, showing accountability and responsibility by having them clean up after themselves, and learning to be quiet when an adult is talking. This group wants to come back, wants to be here, wants to have strong men around them to look up to to ask questions, to give them challenges and to emulate their character. Read Full Story

From the Detroit News

Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News 5:04 p.m. EDT July 11, 2016

Ann Arbor – For many reasons, Jack Harbaugh was happy to attend the first day of Michigan’s second Youth Impact Program, a two-week academic, football and life skills camp for 100 fifth through eighth-graders from Detroit.

Harbaugh, the father of Michigan coach Jim, enthusiastically delivered the program’s opening speech to the players while gathered on the Michigan Stadium field Monday.

The participants had to write essays to apply to the program, which involves taking classes, learning discipline from the Marines, and football skills. Several Michigan sophomores are working the camp, with an assist from several juniors who were part of the camp last year.

Zach Eisendrath is the YIP director, Joe Hastings is running the football side of things and Shari Acho is running academics. Former Wolverines like Braylon Edwards, LaMarr Woodley and Harlan Huckleby will be speaking over the course of the two weeks. Several of the Wolverines, including Tyree Kinnel, Jared Wangler, Moe Ways, Dymonte Thomas, Jourdan Lewis and Karan Higdon, offered life advice to the youngsters on Monday.

“People hold themselves down in the hood because they choose to,” Higdon told the kids. “I had to realize on my own, ‘I can’t hang out with you.’ Don’t be like me – don’t wait until high school to learn this.”

Jack Harbaugh and his wife, Jackie, attended the first day of the event last year when Jim Harbaugh arrived on the bus with the kids. He called being part of the program the “highlight” of their year.

“You looked in their eyes and you saw this excitement about being on the campus at the University of Michigan and in the Big House and to be surrounded by the sophomore class of football players who they had heard about and now they’re in their presence,” Harbaugh said.

“Nothing could make you prouder than seeing your children giving back to the community.” Read Full Story

Man at the stadium
Jack Harbaugh opens up the Youth Impact Program at Michigan Stadium
Students studying in the classroom

Permanently Impacting Our Nation’s At-Risk, Inner-City Youth