The Stanford YIP is supported by the NFL and USA Football and its Heads Up initiative. The program hired 12 current Stanford football players, five Stanford staff members and four public school teachers. Dr. John York, CoChairman of the 49ers, and Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State and Stanford Professor, were also participants in this year’s program.
In this, its third year, the YIP at the University of Stanford served 77 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 San Francisco 49ers, winning three Super Bowls in the 1980s with their iconic teams, this program has the benefit of especially strong partnerships. The Stanford YIP has the support of the San Francisco 49ers Academy and includes Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, Stanford Head Coach David Shaw, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, and other representatives from the 49ers.
Stanford is recognized as one of the world’s leading academic institutions. The university was established to prepare students “for personal success and direct usefulness in life and to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” The university’s 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.