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Alexandria based YIP program lands in Chicago

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Mark Matuscak Board Member and Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Youth Impact Program (YIP) have chosen to partner with Northwestern University to provide a summer camp that offers STEM classroom education, leadership and life skills training, and football training for at-risk boys at Northwestern University's Evanston campus from July 7th - July 18th (www.youthimpactprogram.org).

The Youth Impact Program, is a not for profit organization,based in Alexandria, Virginia, covers one hundred percent of all camp expenses, so these young men can have the experience of a student athlete. This year the program will be hosting 65 incoming 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys from North Lawndale Chicago, and another 60 students from the Evanston Public School district.
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education will be led by Chicago and Evanston Public School teachers and supported by Northwestern football athletes serving as teaching assistants in the classroom. It is anticipated that the instructor to student ratio will be 1:6, which will give each student the attention they deserve in the classroom and on the field.
Northwestern football staff and 23 current players will run and conduct college style non-contact football practice in the afternoons.

t is anticipated that the coach to player ratio will be 1:4. During the camp, and throughout the year, the Northwestern football players will continue to serve as mentors and role models for the boys.
Youth Impact Program tries to tackle tough challenges. North Lawndale is a community in need of quality youth summer programming. The community has significant economic and social challenges -- it has one of the highest crime rates, the average income is $12,500 and over thirty eight percent (38%) of its residents live below poverty with 18 percent unemployment.

On May 30, 2014, YIP Board member and Chicago resident Mark Matuscak, CEO of Benefitdecisions, along with YIP founder and three time Super Bowl Champion Riki Ellison hosted Youth Impact Program's inaugural Chicago event which included dinner and celebration at North Lawndale College Preparatory High School. The theme was to create an NFL draft and national high school letter of intent experience for the boys and their parents. Each boy was individually called up onto the stage where he was given a Northwestern hat, and then posed for pictures with the Northwestern players and Riki Ellison. Each boy also signed a letter of intent committing to Youth Impact Program's values and code of conduct with their family members present and in full support.

Key Camp dates are: July 7th - YIP Opening Day Ceremony for the boys on at the NU Evanston campus. On July 11th the boys will be visiting Halas Hall with some of the Chicago Bears players. The program will close out with an Award ceremony on July 18th at the NU Evanston campus. Camp runs daily from 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Source: Youth Impact Program

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