Falcons Youth and Family Service organization uses coaches as mentors

Juliana D. Norwood | 12/19/2012, 5 p.m.

The Falcons Youth and Family Service organization (FYFS) is a natural progression of the Southern California Falcons Youth Football and Cheer Program. In the spring of 2005 Keith and Karen Johnson formed the Southern California Falcons a youth football and cheer organization. The goal of the program was to use sports as a vehicle to introduce and reinforce the concept of strong character, positive values, personal responsibility, social responsibility and academic excellence.

"We believed that very few individuals have the attention of young people, but coaches have that attention. Our goal was to utilize the relationship that coaches have with their players and parents to build and an effective agency to help meet the challenges our youth face in the community," said Keith Johnson.

The organization's mission is to repair the damage done to youth, families and communities by social messages that do not teach personal and or social responsibility.

The group's motto is "It's Time to Teach New School Kids, Old School Values."

In just five years Falcons Youth and Family Services has been featured on local news KNBC News twice and in 2011 was awarded the "Best of the Best" Community Service Award and the Watkins Award for Community Service.

Most of the focus of agency has been based on changing the lives of youth within the community it serves in spite of the gangs, crime, and demographics of the area.

Falcons Youth and Family Services has developed several unique an innovative programs to address challenges around character, education, role models and health.

1. The Victory in Values program is a character development program, designed after the highly effective and nationally recognized Character Counts Program.

2. Men in Training program (M.I.T.) and Ladies in Training (L.I.T.) are designed for boys and girls between the ages of 12-17. The program is a series of workshops to empower boys and girls to become confident, successful young men and young women.

3. The School Monitoring program is designed to give weekly updates on participants.

4. Mobile Homework Trailer (MHT) is a 20-foot cargo trailer that has been transformed into a mobile classroom. The MHT is at every practice. Participants, who need tutoring or have not completed homework, must do so before they are allowed to practice.

5. The Coach/Mentor program was developed to address the lack of positive adults in the lives of participants. Each staff member and coach is trained to be a mentor.

7. Camp H.O.P.E. (Helping the Obesity Problem End) is an eight-week healthy eating and wellness education and physical fitness program for the entire family.

For more information on the Falcons Youth and Family Services organization visit the website at www.fyfs.org.