Future Leaders & Young Entrepreneurs (FLYE) leverages the $15.3 billion a year youth sports industry to revolutionize the way we teach student-athletes to be community and societal leaders. 63% of American Families spend anywhere from $100 to $499 per child each month on youth sports. The question is, what is the real return on their investment? The answer is, less than 3.3% of NCAA Athletes and less than .07% of high school athletes ever play professional.
* there are roughly 480,000 and 15 million student-athletes in college and high school respectively
These numbers clearly indicate that while there’s a huge investment in youth sports, the “bang for buck” is lackluster at best. So, how do we better utilize all that youth are learning from sports and prepare them for life after sports at the same time? We do this through The FLYE Playbook™: an athlete-centered pedagogy that uses an entrepreneurial mindset to produce high quality college applicants, immediate workforce readiness and closes the wealth gap in the process. The FLYE Playbook™ also creates new employment opportunities, strengthens community engagement and generates innovative entrepreneurial ventures. All of this, while still ensuring student-athletes perform at the highest athletic levels.
The Founding of FLYE
FLYE was established in 2013 to extensively examine how to assist young people involved in athletics in placing sports and academic engagement on an equal plane. It is no secret that many young people view education as a chore instead of an opportunity to build both character and career. For young student-athletes especially, education is often viewed as only a means of athletic eligibility. The ideal environment to promote academic engagement and athletic advancement requires the ability to transition learnings and experiences between both environments. With that in mind, FLYE created an impact methodology that has and will continue to revolutionize the multi-billion dollar youth sports industry.
Since 2014, our entrepreneurship training has resulted in:
Startup Tech & Innovation Ideas
Revenue Producing Tech Ventures
Over the past 4 years FLYE has impacted over 600 youth in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. In FLYE’s first year of programming (2014), we offered 12 weeks of workshops, serving a total of 48 youth at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in MD. Each workshop covered a different topic, including entrepreneurship, college preparation, and etiquette. In 2015, FLYE held 24 weeks of workshops at Eleanor Roosevelt High School and expanded the entrepreneurship workshop into its own 8-week series. The first 8-week workshop covered leadership (26 students); the second 8-week, entrepreneurship (45 students); and the third 8-week, college preparation (24 students). In 2016, FLYE expanded further and ran programming with 200 student-athletes in conjunction with the Baltimore basketball academy as well as 100 students-athletes at Eleanor Roosevelt High School and Cardozo Education Campus. As of 2017, FLYE has added athletic training of 100 athletes, while running educational programming for over 300 youth in Washington, DC., Maryland and Virginia and conducting numerous workshops, and seminars bringing our total impact number to over 600 youth.
Additionally, FLYE’s programs are specifically designed to meet the intersecting needs of minority youth, including providing safe spaces for discussing national events, workshops on financial literacy, and direct contributions of professional clothing to promote career readiness.
Over the past 3 years, FLYE has supported student-athletes in the following ways:
Career Pathing Through Sport
In 2016 and 2017, FLYE conducted workshops exposing youth to over 300 career paths in sports that are non-athletic in nature. Exposure included media & production careers with the Cal Ripken Jr. baseball academy, community engagement careers with Monumental Sports and sports management careers through a partnership with Georgetown University’s sports management masters program.
Safe Discussion Spaces
In 2015, FLYE partnered with Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Black Student Union to provide a safe space for 20 FLYE students to discuss the then-recent killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. Also in 2015, 10 FLYE students attended the DC premier of 3 ½ Minutes, a documentary on the death of teenager Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, FL, and participated in a post-film discussion with Jordan Davis’ parents.
Launched in 2014, “FLYE Fridays” are weekly interactive discussions with current and former professional athletes. Past guests have included Washington Redskins legend Gary Clark, 13 year NFL veteran Leigh Bodden, and the DMV’s first overall #1 high school recruit Derrick Williams.
In 2015, FLYE organized a private event for FLYE students at the White House. Guest speakers included representatives from A+E Television, the Washington Wizards, ESPN, the Washington Nationals, as well as Special Assistant to President Obama Michael Smith. Students discussed the importance of leadership, decision-making, education, and goal-setting.
In 2014, 2015 and 2017, FLYE organized a professional clothing drive that generated 300 men’s suits, 100 pairs of dress shoes, 1500 ties, and 600 dress shirts for all program participants in 2014 and 2015.
In 2014, 2016 and 2017 FLYE convened a financial literacy discussion with financial coaches Dominique Broadway, CJ Thompson, and Dominique Brown. Students learned the importance of budgeting and saving money, how to establish a 700+ credit score, and the importance of making good investments.