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Dallas Champions Academy: The Mission

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

The Mission: The mission of the Dallas Champions Academy is to help break the cycle of poverty and foster hope for struggling children and youth in South Dallas. This mission is achieved through the following:

1. Dallas Champions Academy Summer Camp: A five-day summer camp for boys and girls ages 8-18 living in poverty in South Dallas. The Dallas Champions Academy is led by Coach Ken Heupel (President of Day of Champions, Inc.) and his team of 16 current and former NFL and University football players and coaches as well as five award winning academic educators.

2. Outstanding Curriculum: Through the game of sports, small group academic learning, group Bible teaching, and personal stories from coaches and guest speakers, 4 principle life skills are emphasized: DISCIPLINE, RESPECT, TRUST, HARD WORK. The Champions coaches and teachers follow a 21- point curriculum which includes academic goal setting, classroom and study skills, nutrition, Christian principles, and the importance of mentorship. Students are taught the 3 H’s of HOW, HELP, and HOPE. HOW to seek mentors and set academic/life goals, HELP with a set of tools to achieve their goals (scholarship websites, college application help, standardized test help) and HOPE that they can better their lives through the testimonies of speakers from similar backgrounds who have overcome and thrived.

3. Year-Round Mentoring: The Dallas Champions Academy partners with Transformance, Dallas Young Life, Urban Outreach Development, the Greater Dallas Coalition, and local churches and civic organizations to ensure each of the 200 campers is connected throughout the year with a local mentor.

4. College Mentoring and Retention Specialists: The Dallas Champions Academy helps all participating high school seniors and post graduates apply to college, including applying for financial aid and scholarships. The students and their parents are accompanied by the Champions Mentor and Retention specialist from the beginning application stage through the entire college years. We have found that students from high risk poverty backgrounds need extra care through the first years of college especially. The retention specialist works closely with the college student as they journey through college.

5. College Visits: Students of the Champions Academy who have continued in their mentoring programs will be given the opportunity during the year to visit college campuses. Students have visited University of Texas, Texas A & M, SMU, TCU, University of North Texas and University of Oklahoma.

6. Champions Combine Every year the Dallas Champions Academy takes a group of select athletes from South Dallas to attend a Champions Combine which seeks to place student athletes in college. Thus far 15 of our athletes have received scholarship to college. All of them are first in their family to attend college.

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