Hampton Roads Youth Foundation pushes campers to think outside the hash marks

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - For the past 22 years, the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation has left an imprint on the area through its community outreach. Its annual summer youth football camp has been a staple.

Campers run through drills.

Some of the NFL's most decorated athletes, hailing from the 757, have grown up attending the camp. Fast forward to 2018, and it hasn't stopped.

Hundreds of campers from both the Peninsula and the Southside flocked to Christopher Newport for the annual day of drills and competition. Although it's a football camp, that isn't the main point HRYF is driving home.

"At the end of the day, you want to empower young people, inspire young people," said HRYF co-founder Carl Francis. "The message isn't just about being a good football player, it's about being a good person. Productive, and hopefully one day, they'll run this camp."

Derrick Nnadi coaching campers.

Francis, along with co-founder Vernon Lee started the HRYF in 1997 to help leave an imprint on their communities youth.

What started out small, has grown into a weekend long celebration each July. This year is also the 10th Annual Mike Tomlin Meet & Greet.