Last month, the 49ers and Stanford University announced a partnership to bring 49ers alum RIki Ellison’s Youth Impact Program (YIP) to the Bay Area. And as of Friday, the program was in full swing with more than 100 middle school boys from the Bay Area going through football drills on the 49ers practice field in Santa Clara.
“The group has come out with a ton of enthusiasm and energy,” said 49ers Youth Football Coordinator Jared Muela, who led the boys through various drills along with members of the Stanford football team. “The boys were wide-eyed when they came through the door this morning, but they did a great job of bringing energy through the drills. It’s been great.”
The four-week program that combines academics and athletics, began on July 5 and runs through July 29. Friday’s session was the only football to be held at 49ers headquarters, however, team alumni will be represented at other sessions at Stanford.
Muela, who had just enough of his voice following the 49ers annual three-day Youth Football Camp earlier in the week, was appreciative of the Stanford players for their help in teaching the boys football fundamentals.
“They’ve committed their time to make a difference in these kids’ lives,” Muela said. “They understand that this is going to be a difference-maker for these kids going forward.”
Friday’s football work on the practice field was an enjoyable time, but it wasn’t the main purpose of the program. Classroom sessions, held at Stanford, have given the boys lessons on several important life skills. The experience also has given the students exposure to the top-notch facilities and faculty members at Stanford.
And just like the football portion of the program, Muela has witnessed the student embracing the classroom aspects too.
“There are some incredibly smart and motivated kids in this program,” Muela added. “They were excited about the work, very attentive and the whole class was engaged throughout. It was very impressive to see.”
Thanks to Chipotle Mexican Grill on the Alameda in San Jose for supplying complimentary food for the students.
This student made an excellent catch during route-running drills.
Stanford linemen taught blocking fundamentals.
Judging by this expression, Friday was a memorable experience for everyone.
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