The Baltimore Ravens investing in the youth of Baltimore is nothing new. What is a bit different this time around is that the players are directly involved in how they're going to do it.
In a partnership with Up-2-Us Sports, the Ravens have committed $1.5 million to Baltimore youth.
"Our goal is to provide 300 coaches over the next five years who will work in schools, parks and nonprofits. We want to train at least 2,000 coaches in the city on how to use sports to help kids achieve their potential, because it's all there," said Paul Caccamo, CEO of Up-2-Us Sports.
"It's not going to be just football. It's going to be all sports. It's not just boys, it's girls also, with an equal number of coaches for boys teams and girls teams," said Dick Cass, Ravens' team president.
To get the best out of the program and to make sure it really works, Cass went to some of his players to be a part of the program. Defensive tackle Brandon Williams, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, and linebacker Matt Judon all took part in meetings leading up to Tuesday's announcement. The players said they had coaches as kids that helped lead them all the way to the NFL.
"I've had coaches not only take me further in basketball, but also off the field and how to be a man. And also take me into their homes for dinner," Williams said.
"I had a lot of different coaches, but the ones I really remember, that had an impact on my life, really cared about my well-being," Stanley said.
Stanley said they are dedicated to more than their financial commitment. The Ravens will remain involved directly in the facilitation of programs as well.