Jourdan Lewis is all about paying it forward. The former Detroiter is a Dallas Cowboys cornerback. Before that, he was a University of Michigan star, and going back even further he was an Army All-American at Cass Tech and Detroit PAL football player for the Westside Cubs. It is clear that Detroit played an important role in his professional development. Now he is helping to lay a foundation by leading and guiding players from the city that raised him.
This commitment started last year with his first wide receivers vs. defensive back camp hosted at the Detroit PAL headquarters. On Sunday he hosted his second annual skills camp. Like last year the participants all received a Adidas cleats and gloves and a camp compression shirt. His former teammates from UM, senior Lavert Hill and junior Jaylen Kelly-Powell, assisted Lewis at the camp as coaches. Mike Weber, his former teammate at Cass Tech and now Dallas Cowboy teammate, was also a coach along with several others.
How does it feel hosting the camp a second year in a row?
"It's just amazing, man. It's definitely a blessing to see that the kids responded to the first camp and they wanted to be a part of the second one this year."
What is different this year from last year?
"The kids. The volume. We wanted to have more outreach to where we could have more kids and I think it was probably like 150 kids that came last year. We have 325 this year. So we got them cleats, gloves, and everything. We want the volume of it to be better and to reach more kids."
What inspired you to start the camp?
"I saw myself in the future and I was thinking like 'Man, what would I have wanted if I was a kid that I didn't have?', and I wanted professional athletes to come back and speak to me and give me the ins and outs of how it is to be a professional young man. So that's really my motivation for it. Just understanding that I had a dream once upon a time and I know they have a dream, too. So I just want to make sure their dream came true."
What is one take away that you want the participants to have?
"Just to give back, really. Give back and motivate each other and motivate everybody that's looking up to them. Whether that's a sibling, a close friend, or any relative. I just want that to be the message. To be a young man, to be a productive citizen you always look back and try to give back."
Special thanks to Jermaine Tripp who provided the photos.