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Michigan football announce Youth Impact Program for at-risk youth in Detroit

Michigan football announced on Thursday that it has started a youth impact program affiliated with the city of Detroit.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan football announced on Thursday it will start a Youth Impact Program affiliated with the city of Detroit.

In a release, the university said that it will benefit and assist at-risk boys from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city of Detroit. The release states that the program will be designed to align with the values the football program instills to its football players.

"We are excited to have our football program working and associated with the Youth Impact Program," said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh in a statement. "This will be a tremendous growth opportunity for the youngsters participating in this program. It will also provide an opportunity for our student-athletes to learn valuable leadership skills as mentors, coaches and teachers."

Harbaugh, alongside his coaching staff and sophomore athletes will work with U.S. Marine Corps and local teachers to educate boys selected with life skills, educate and provide direction to at-risk youth.

The program has identified 100 sixth, seventh and eighth grade boys in Detroit to participate in the program.

"The impact of the program will develop leadership skills so the students can have the courage and confidence to make the right decisions at the right time under stress and confrontation," said Riki Ellison, founder of the Youth Impact Program in a statement. "The program enables trust and strong relationships over sustained periods of time that these at-risk boys do not have with men five years from their age, some from their same background that they idolize.

"It enables the development of trust and respect between the University of Michigan and its nearby community by providing access to those underprivileged that may never of seen the inside of a great academic institution," added Ellison. "The program will provide the discipline, the skills and classroom management for these young boys to excel in academics. Our short-term goal is high school graduation for all of these boys and the long-term goal is new-found leadership to lead other young boys in the right direction when they return home."

Ellison is a former Stanford and San Francisco 49er football player.

The impact program will be held July 6-18 as well as other events throughout the year.