Our Mission

Through fitness, we aim to empower inner city youth with confidence and success that transcends into every aspect of their lives. 


A letter from our Executive Director:

Traditional physical education centers on sport specific fitness.  Sadly most children, especially inner city youth, do not have the base level of physical literacy so many of us take for granted.  Physical literacy pertains to a person's general fitness abilities including throwing, catching, running or jumping.  Often termed the A,B,Cs of fitness, physical literacy encompasses one's agility, balance, coordination, speed, stamina, cardio-respiratory endurance and strength to name a few.  Studies show that a lack of physical literacy prevents children from fully participating in life due to a decrease in self-confidence.  Life includes physical fitness, play, academic pursuits, social interactions and general risk taking.  

Without the basic foundation of physical literacy, children opt out of neighborhood pick up games, free play and organized sports.  In the process, the opportunities to learn life skills like problem solving, leadership, integrity, negotiation and sportsmanship, without adult intervention are lost.  Children have limited coping skills and life becomes a scary place.  It becomes easier to opt out then put your best foot forward.  They learn to accept the status quo during their formative years. 

Today's youth face additional distractions like the advancements in technology, video games and other sedentary activities.  In addition, urban youth have greater barriers to participation including personal safety, places to play, poverty and the burden of adult responsibilities at home.  Many of the children we work with parent younger siblings after school.  Their access to develop their physical literacy and thus their life skills is non-existent.  Our programs, offered in school, take away the barriers to entry and provide kids with a safe, supportive environment where they learn the basic skills. Each day we offer opportunities for children to succeed and win, whether it's jumping on a box they think is too high, holding a plank or performing a complex movement.  They don't have to be the most talented, or the fastest, they simply need to trust and participate, to dip their toes in and test the water and see what is possible. 

Rise Youth Athletics complements traditional physical education classes in increasing the less athletic student's abilities as well as maintaining and developing a more elite athlete's progress.  As you may suspect, fitness is the bonus.  Our goal is to provide opportunities for kids to succeed, building self-confidence that then transcends into every aspect of their lives.  Our hope is to assist in developing the whole person, a child with dreams powered by the belief that they can achieve those dreams, whatever they may be.  Circumstances aren't always alterable, but armed with the right skills and tools they become mere challenges.  Join us in taking on the challenges!

Yours in total health,

Michele Kelber, Esq. Executive Director

Michele Kelber, Esq.
Executive Director

Rise Youth Athletics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate of the
Steve's Club National Program.