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NFL Detroit Lions Rookie Jashon Cornell, Partners with Sound Mind Sound Body (SMSB) Foundation to Launch Virtual Educational Summer Program for Student-Athletes

In response to COVID-19 and the loss of direct instruction due to school cancellation, NFL Detroit Lions Rookie and SMSB alum Jashon Cornell will serve as “Player Mentor” of SMSB E.L.I.T.E., employing technology to help narrow the gap for youth and families in Detroit, a program of the Sound Mind Sound Body Foundation.

In conjunction with Beyond Basics, SMSB E.L.I.T.E. launched a virtual summer learning experience for Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) student-athletes. Students will receive 50 hours of one-on-one virtual tutoring and mentoring, comprising literacy enrichment, SAT prep, athletic training, and college and career readiness skills.

In partnership with Lawrence Tech University, students will report directly to the Lawrence Tech University football staff for weekly athletic and college preparation mentoring.

“In the wake of COVID-19, this program is right on time for students. Academic support is desperately needed now more than ever to help mitigate three months of instruction loss and classroom time,” says President of the Detroit Football Coaches Association and 25-year employee of DPSCD, Andre Harlan.

“It feels good to return to my roots, working with Sound Mind Sound Body’s virtual program. This time around, I’m not an SMSB student on the field. Instead, I have an amazing opportunity to give back by promoting the importance of social distancing, reading enrichment and SAT prep, helping other student-athletes to achieve their academic best,” says Jashon Cornell.

“We chose Jashon to be a mentor, not only because he’s an SMSB alum and now a Detroit Lion, but Jashon is the perfect example of a student-athlete who’s mastered the balance of ‘books and ball.’ He graduated from Ohio State University with not just one degree, but two. Our student-athletes can learn a lot from him,” says Founder of Sound Mind Sound Body Foundation, Curtis E. Blackwell II.

Nutritional meals will be available to program participants provided by United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and Adidas swag will be provided by Adidas/TopCat. In addition, upon successful completion of the program, students will receive up to a $1,200 stipend provided by Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.

Through a unique curriculum that balances books and ball, since 2004, Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy has served over 10,000 students worldwide, providing opportunity for over 2,000 to attend college on a full scholarship. This year, 12 SMSB student-athletes were selected in the NFL draft — many have designated SMSB the top program in America for comprehensive student-athlete development.

Click here to donate and help sponsor a student-athlete.

Media Contact:

Jennifer L. Payne, Social Sovereign

Phone: (313) 451-5800


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