As two young adults, we, Justin Anthony and Josie Wallace, decided to create EPIC Youth.
We both grew up in Elgin. Participating in sports and extracurricular activities has always been a part our lives and has played a major role in our successes. Since graduating college, we have both moved back to the area to begin our careers. Separately, we started coaching for various basketball teams in the Fox Valley community. In the summer of 2012, Josie and I collaboratively started a summer program, Hoopz U, in the Elgin area. For our first season, we coached three boys’ teams. Our dedication and success was evident in the fact that each level clinched at least two 1sst place tournament titles.
As the season progressed, the directors and coaches saw that the players have greater needs than to simply play ball.
Many are unable to pay the club fees- even though EPIC Hoopz charges some of the lowest fees in the area. Moreover, many of our players come from broken homes and are considered “at risk” youth. Many lacked positive support and motivation from home. As a basketball program, we felt that we could bring much more to the community. By creating EPIC, it is our hope that we will begin to show the youth in the Fox Valley area that they are capable of attending college and being successful.
EPIC Youth is simply crucial to the Fox Valley community.
The large number of youth which whom we serve are caught in a cycle of limited support and guidance from home. This cycle can affect their expectations and prevent them from reaching their full potential. It is our goal, through leadership development, college prep classes, athletic training, and sharing God’s love, to reverse this cycle. EPIC Youth helps to open the door to higher education for these children and creates new opportunities. The importance of EPIC Youth is ground-breaking. EPIC Youth will seek to eliminate the limitations on the dreams of children and teens by exposing them to people who have overcome the same obstacles, uncovering life outside of their limited environment. EPIC Youth will substantially increase the rate of students who attend and graduate college. The children will learn valuable study habits, complete ACT/SAT prep classes, and experience opportunities for national exposure to obtain athletic scholarships for college. EPIC Youth will introduce children and teens to The Word of God and provide tools to build a meaningful relationship with Christ. This relationship will ignite the understanding of their true purpose. By combining enhanced dreams, college education, and a realized purpose, The EPIC movement will shape underprivileged youth into valuable contributors of society.
EPIC Youth is a potent vehicle for growth in the Fox Valley community.
However, we cannot do this work alone. We need your help. Although our registration cost is roughly half the price of the average area travel team, many of the families who we serve are from low-income neighborhoods and are simply unable to fund their child’s tuition. Your act of kindness will directly provide structure and guidance for a child who may otherwise struggle. Through your business/organization’s contributions, we can successfully achieve our goals together. By donating to EPIC Youth, you are investing in our community and playing a crucial role in developing our youth.
EPIC Youth will use your investment to help facilitate our leadership development, run our tutoring program, and compete at a level that will gain college exposure for our athletes. The combination of these programs will, undoubtedly, provide dozens of boys and girls the opportunity to be the first in their family to earn a higher degree in education and fulfill their dreams.