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DCA camp kids get instruction

Dozens of Youths Hit the Field and the Classroom

Transformance Inc., a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to creating an integrated services delivery model for economic empowerment, recently wrapped up sponsorship of the 4-day Dallas Champions Academy (DCA) camp last week at South Dallas’ A+ Academy charter school. In conjunction with DCA’s organizer, strategic nonprofit partner Services of Hope, dozens of boys and girls were afforded the opportunity to learn life lessons, financial coaching and physical fitness techniques taught by 16 different coaches from both the NFL and NCAA.

The Dallas Champions Academy is a nonprofit dedicated to teaching underprivileged children and youths aged 8-18 four life principles through sports: discipline, respect, trust and hard work. Now in its eighth consecutive year, DCA attendees were provided with daily one-on-one mentoring, coaching, the creation of life goals and Christian attributes.

“As a self-described ‘servant leader,’ Dallas Champions Academy represents the exact type of outreach we want to provide as a fully integrated services delivery model,” said Ken Goodgames, CEO of Transformance. “It becomes an example of the highest calling when we have the power to actually change lives and influence the future of these kids.”

Statistics show that the program is making a significant impact. While the DCA runs four days in total length, the fourth and final day is an invitation-only callback for those camp attendees who have shown the most potential in learning the four principles. Dubbed the Day of Champions College Combine, these exemplary campers are provided with additional character and skill development sessions while also being provided with one-on-one assistance for the college application process from a college retention specialist. In addition, Transformance provided a special classroom presentation on basic financial principles called “Money and Credit”. DCA figures show that 70 percent of those attending the special fourth day of the camp go on to receive scholarships to university or community colleges.

“There’s a dual-generation strategy,” said Ruth Ferguson of Services of Hope. “If we can reach these kids at an early enough age, we can prevent poor financial habits such as falling prey to predatory lending practices. Our goal is to check in with these attendees year-round at specific touchpoints to reinforce our message.”

While the 4-day camp was held in the midst of summer, the boys and girls appeared unaffected by the searing outdoor heat. Encouraged to run to each station or session – “No walking!” was a popular refrain, the kids eagerly participated in on-the-field football drills and in-the-classroom life lessons.

Dallas Champions Academy Director Darell A. Smith gave a glowing assessment of the camp. “These kids are an inspiration, it never stops for us. It seems to get better with each camp we host. As a community, we need to cherish this next generation of kids. Any one of them can go on to success and achieve the hopes and dreams they may not have considered before participating.”

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