Game Changers Summit

WARREN – A local organization aimed at inspiring student athletes to excel in their sports and academics as well as provide community service is working to expand its reach from primarily Mahoning Valley teens to students across Ohio.

Game Changers, a leadership and peer counseling program, is starting a social media campaign that through June 1 will highlight athletic accomplishments of junior and senior high school students through its website, provide four $2,500 scholarships for students and give a $3,500 donation to a school that is working with the athletes on a service project.

In addition, the top winner will receive a grand prize that will include a five-day, four-night trip to Los Angeles, Calif., in July to experience the behind the scenes effort to put together the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards and a pass to attend the 2016 award ceremonies. The winner also will receive a pass to go to either Disneyland or Universal Studios and a $200 credit for food and transportation.

Michael Engram, founder of Game Changers LLC, said the program will highlight what is being called the “play of the week,” in which athletes and their supporters will submit video highlights of sport plays they would like to be considered for that week’s top play.

“We will have an ‘American Idol’ type voting in which people will vote online what their favorite plays were for that week,” Engram said. “The week’s winner will receive a gift card from one of our sponsoring organizations, such as Starbucks in the North Commons in Niles, Chic Fil-A and others.”

Athletic activities include all Ohio High School Athletic Association recognized sports.

Participants looking to win the scholarships or the grand prize must must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and must commit to doing a minimum of 25 hours of community service a quarter for a minimum of 100 hours for the school year, he said.

Participants will provide an official transcript with the GPAs at the end of the school year and proof of their community service project through a counselor or the organizer of the program.

Students looking to participate must register by Sept. 30.

“My goal is to get student-athletes to look beyond excelling in their sports, but to focus on their entire school experience, as well as what is happening in their communities.,” Engram said. “We want to encourage the development of the entire person.”

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