To create game-changing platforms and programs that encourage the retention and graduation of high school athletes through leadership and character development.
To create athletes who are positively changing the world, one play at a time.
From Passion to Purpose
In 1997, my older brother was murdered in a home invasion. In 2007, my father died from liver failure. I know what it feels like to go through life as a young man and not have a model to emulate when you’re growing up.
I had no idea what it would take to start, sustain, or sacrifice for a business. What I DID know was that I had a passion inside and that the anxiety that I had from not acting was keeping me up at night. Once the spark was lit, the only thing I wondered was, “How can I encourage a young person to dream without limits?”
I don’t want to waste my life with would’ve, could’ve, should’ve!
I want to give it all I have and not live with regrets.
I want to be an example to others—showing that you can get out and be what you want to be. You, too, can be a Game Changer!
Since moving back to my hometown of Warren, OH from Honolulu, HI in 2013, a lot has changed. Within 20 years, our population has gone from 51,000 to 38,000. Jobs have been shipped. Steel mills have closed. Funding for organizations has all but dried up. And, finding resources to make a difference can be both challenging and frustrating. I have been fortunate enough to use my life experiences and the confidence gained from working in corporate America to meet with numerous decision-makers. In these meetings, I have shared my story and partnered with other organizations that also possess a focused passion and strong work ethic to make a difference. The result: we have come together on projects and collaborated to provide programs/services to youth in our community.
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, whether it was at the age of 10, breaking up ice and pouring Kool-Aid over it to compete with lemonade stands, using my allowance at the age of 13 to purchase my first briefcase, or at the age of 17, where I planned our senior class trip to the Bahamas. (For some, this may seem like nothing. But a group of high school students raising over $30,000 and planning the logistics for an international trip was not heard of back in the ’90s. This is when I officially fell in love with business.) I wasn’t familiar with the terminology at the time, but on a lined paper notebook, I created my first balance sheet and income statement. These instances undoubtedly helped to build my entrepreneurial acumen.
I liken my style of leadership to Ken Blanchard’s definition of Servant Leadership. While I have not always understood the ins and outs of leadership, I know for certain, now. Leading by serving others is a model that has worked for me.
I remember when Game Changers first acquired a flag football league, where I served as the administrator, we had 400 kiddos between the ages of 3-14 who participated and approximately 600 adults (coaches, spectators, or volunteers). Twice a year for a 7-week time span, we hosted people from 19 surrounding communities to support their kids in playing flag football in a safe environment. My title may have said League Administrator, but the job required being whatever someone needed. On a good day, someone would say ‘thank you.’ On most days, it was a humbling experience that kept me focused on the larger picture: it’s all about the kiddos! The only way mankind is going to be better than we were yesterday is by making the difference today!
Michael E. Engram, Jr.
Founder/Executive Coach of Game Changers
“Being one of the ambassadors for GameChangers has been life-changing. I’ve been able to share my knowledge and experiences to a wider platform than I thought I’d ever be able to. I’ve also had an incredible amount of help reaching where I am today thanks to GC, Coach Engram, and the team. There are so many ways to stay connected with like-minded students and athletes who all strive for success.”
“Game Changers has given me endless opportunities that I will forever be grateful for. From being named one of the first Players of the Week, to having the opportunity to moderate the college panel for the GC Leadership Summits, and now interning for the organization. I have been able to network and learn about other athletes journeys and avenues of success from the college to professional level. Game Changers has given me a network of professionals I’ll be able to reach out to, as I embark on my journey of life after college to pursue a career in coaching. One day I hope to encourage athletes to become better players, but most importantly better people!”
“They always say that student comes before athlete, but no programs really reward or motivate student-athletes to perform inside and outside their sports. Game Changers did that for me with recognition from Player of the Week and the ESPY and Scholarship Initiative. I was actually rewarded and encouraged for my hard work in the classroom and on the field. GC [Game Changers] also gave me the opportunity to make connections professionally as well as socially. The Game Changers organization helped me be apart of something positive and bigger than myself.”
“Becoming a Game Changers Ambassador has been an incredibly positive experience! Nominated as Player of the Week was such an honor, and I sincerely appreciate the representation in the sport of Swimming. July 2019, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2019 ESPY’s Experience in Los Angeles, California, an unforgettable trip. Since becoming an Ambassador, it has been so uplifting to inspire young student-athletes on their journey—navigating through high school and beyond!”
“Game Changers has impacted my life by giving me different opportunities to build myself into a leader, from giving back to the community to attending the GC Leadership Summit and listening to many successful people and the advice that they took and are passing on. Spending time in the office with Coach Mike, from life talks to strategic planning for the organization, has shown me a work ethic that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I plan to pass it on to future generations just as he does and has. Game Changers is an amazing organization not only for student-athletes but for everyday people who want to succeed.”
“Being a part of Game Changers allowed me to not only step outside of my comfort zone, but it allowed me to obtain valuable skills that I will be able to use later in life. Through this organization I was able to learn about what it is like to work on projects with a team of like-minded students as well as how to see a project through to the end. I was better able to connect with people in my community and participate in numerous fundraising opportunities that benefited those in need. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone who decides to participate in this organization will find it to be beneficial to their personal growth.”
Make More Possible
Game Changers values the investment that our partners and sponsors make to the organization, and we have put metrics into place to make the larger audience aware of donor collaboration (pre, during, and post events). We celebrate our youth and welcome you to join our mission by becoming a financial investor in the cause. The sponsorships are broken down into monthly contributions, over a one-year period.
Game Changers is a 501(c)(3) organization that champions a spirit of leadership and peer development that redefines the image of student-athletes.