4th and 1 is a free football camp for high school students from underrepresented groups held in Mt. Pleasant, TX, East Lansing, MI, and Jacksonville, FL. It is the only football camp in North America to balance sports training with SAT/ACT prep and diagnostics, professional development, creative workshops, and life skills classes. Our mission is to propel our student-athletes through high school and college by providing them with individualized athletic, academic, and professional skills development.
4th and 1 was founded in 2010 by Daron Roberts, assistant defensive quality control coach of the Cleveland Browns and a graduate of Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School, and the University of Texas. An African-American from an underserved community in East Texas, Daron knew he could not have succeeded without the support of mentors who took an interest in his education. He began 4th and 1 in his home town in East Texas to give back to his community through a unique camp aimed at mentoring the next generation of student-athletes. Daron teamed up with fellow Harvard Law School classmate and 4th and 1 Executive Director Vivian Chum, Program Coordinator Sonya Woods, and Fundraising Coordinator Hilary Roberts to launch 4th and 1 in 2010. Inspired by 4th and 1’s mission, Miami Dolphins Director of Player Development Kaleb Thornhill launched the Michigan branch of 4th and 1 in 2011. With the generous support of the Jacksonville Jaguars, 4th and 1-Jacksonville launched in Jacksonville, Florida in 2013.
During our intensive six-day summer camp, student-athletes receive individualized football training and SAT/ACT tutoring. They are also exposed to a wide array of professional development, life skills, and creative workshops. Business leaders and university and college admissions staff from across the country lead classes covering topics such as résumé writing, the college application process, yoga and meditation, and sports broadcasting.
Student-athletes at our Texas camp stay in on-campus dorms at Northeast Texas Community College for the entirety of the camp. Student-athletes at our Michigan camp stay in on-campus dorms at Michigan State University. Our Florida student-athletes stay in on-campus dorms at Jacksonville University. With access to NTCC, MSU, and JU’s student union and facilities, student-athletes are immersed in the college experience.
The application process is competitive and open to high school student-athletes. Also, rising freshman, sophomores, and juniors who successfully complete the 4th and 1 curriculum are invited to return the following year for another summer of sports training and classes. Returning student-athletes serve as team captains to a new, in-coming class of high school students. In total, 4th and 1 will serve approximately 120 student-athletes in 2014.