For the second straight year, Northwestern Athletics is serving as a host for the Youth Impact Program. The Wildcats, along with the Marines and the Navy, are welcoming nearly 100 at-risk middle school boys for a program that spans two weeks.


The program lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Under the leadership of program director Dan Hernandez, the goal of YIP is to educate the participants academically, provide them critical life skills, develop their leadership skills and to give them structure in their lives while also competing as a team in football.


This year, the academic portion of the program is focused on the areas of mathematics, applied mathematics, English comprehension, science/physics and brain training to enhance focus. The life skill development reflects that of the pyramid of winning values for the Northwestern football program. The program replicates the complete academic and athletic day-to-day experience of a Northwestern student-athlete.


Members of the Northwestern football program are serving as coaches and mentors for the boys throughout the two-week period. The morning session each day focuses on academics while the afternoon period involves the opportunity to work on team-building skills through playing football. Activities have included a presentation from former Northwestern football player and recent Cleveland Browns draft choice Ibraheim Campbell '15.


The program also includes a visit to the Halas Hall, the training home of the Chicago Bears in Lake Forest, Illinois.


The Northwestern YIP is supported by the Benefitdecisons, American Children's Fund, the Chicago Bears' Bear Care foundation, World Sport Chicago, and individual private donations.


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