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Champion Academy

Rochester’s New Normal: Poverty, Trauma and Toxic Role Models

Among comparable-size cities, Rochester continues to be among the worst in poverty and childhood poverty. One out of three Rochester residents lives in poverty, and more than half of all Rochester children under 18 years of age live below the poverty level.
Each second a teen spends in poverty, the probability increases that he or she will be negatively impacted by one of poverty’s horrific effects:

  • Substandard housing
  • Food scarcity
  • Living in a single-parent household
  • Drugs, gangs & violence
  • Substance abuse by a household member
  • Physical or sexual abuse by a household member

...But We Are Fighting Back

The Champion Academy helps urban teens in poverty overcome their traumatic experiences and use them as fuel to drive their improvement as students, citizens and future professionals.

How It All Started

How It All Started

Roland Williams was born in Rochester’s challenged 19th Ward and overcame incredible odds to graduate from the Rochester City School District, Syracuse University, and become an NFL legend and Rochester’s first and only Super Bowl Champion. But Roland’s heart has always been bigger than his smile. A lifelong philanthropist, in 2015 he founded the Champion Academy Extreme Mentoring & Empowerment Initiative.

Volunteer Opportunities

1. CHAMPION WELCOME - Celebrate the arrival of students to our programs
2. STUDENT NETWORKING - Interact with student through conversation and games
3. PROGRAM LOGISTICS - Help with setup, food and program coordination
4. PROGRAM AMBASSADOR - Help spread the word
5. CLASSROOM CHECKUPS - Visit a student during the school day and observe

Our Process
Our History
Our Values
Our Resources
Our Process
Our History
Our Values

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