In its first year, the YIP at the University of Stanford served 74 at-risk boys. The boys who participated were chosen from middle schools in underprivileged communities, including East Palo Alto and East San Jose. The middle schools chosen, with help from the San Francisco 49ers, the FLY Program (Fresh Lifelines for Youth), and the district offices of Senator Dianne Feinstein, included the 49ers Academy, Willow Oaks, Luther Burbank, and Clyde L. Fischer.
A recent survey of developmental assets among Palo Alto youth indicated that 18 percent of fifth-graders are considered “vulnerable or at risk.” That number jumps to 32 percent of middle-school students and 47 percent of high school students.
Given that Founder Riki Ellison played for the 49ers, winning three super bowls in the 1980s with their iconic teams, this program was the result of especially strong partnerships. The Stanford YIP initiated a pre-camp press conference at the 49ers Academy that involved Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, Head Coach David Shaw, 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, and other representatives from the 49ers.
Stanford is recognized as one of the world’s leading universities.. The university was designed to prepare students “for personal success and direct usefulness in life and promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” The students have opportunities to participate in a remarkable range of activities, from academic courses taught by renowned professors and opportunities for research, independent study and public service to an extraordinary range of extracurricular activities.