Vikings TE Rhett Ellison Supports Stanford Youth Impact Program

Posted in: Community, Youth Football

Minnesota Vikings tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison, a Portola Valley, CA native and former USC Trojan, participated as a mentor in the Stanford Youth Impact Program (YIP) on July 12th.

Ellison served as a guest speaker to discuss the importance of education and using football as tool to achieve ultimate success both on and off-the field.  He also presented the organization with a personal donation to match a grant given by the NFL Foundation through its NFL Player Matching Youth Football Grant.

YIP is an innovative summer program that promotes positive development in low-income, urban-based, at-risk minority middle school male students between the ages of 10 and 14.  The Stanford YIP ran from July 8th to July 26th, and hosted more than 100 students. The participants received more than 60 hours of classroom training and tutoring, field trips and 20 hours of contact football and fitness training. 

"Despite playing college football in southern California and now professionally in Minnesota, the Bay Area is still my home," said Ellison.

"YIP is a tremendous program that goes far beyond football and teaches life skills and values such as a strong work ethic, discipline and teamwork.  To do this locally with an organization that truly supports personal growth, while incorporating the game of football, is a tremendous opportunity.  I am grateful to be in a position to give back and share my experiences with these kids."

As a former USC Trojan, Ellison gained mentoring experience with YIP while he was a student in Los Angeles. He is the son of YIP Chairman and Founder Riki Ellison, a 3-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers. Ellison has held the position of Chairman since its inception in 2003.

The Stanford YIP is supported by the NFL Foundation and USA Football’s Heads Up initiative.  The program hired 12 current Stanford Football players, five Stanford staff members and four public school teachers.  Dr. John York, Co-Chairman of the 49ers and Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State and Stanford Professor, are also participants in this year's program.