NFL star returns to Detroit to host free football camp for kids

DETROIT – A Detroit native and NFL star with the Dallas Cowboys, Jourdan Lewis was back in town to give back to the youth.

The Cass Tech and University of Michigan alum hosted a free football camp through his foundation, The Jourdan Lewis Foundation Inc. at the Corner Ballpark in Corktown.

While the 300 children who participate do drills, Lewis said this camp is bigger than football.

“It’s about trying to get them to think outside the box about sports, this is just to grab their attention,” said Lewis.

He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, and one year later he started the foundation. This weekend marks the foundation’s fifth annual wide receiver and defensive back camp.

“I wanted to empower the young kids,” said Lewis. “I was just like them when I was growing up I wanted somebody to come out here and show me the ropes just to come out here and show that they cared about me and cared about their community, I just really wanted to inspire them.”

He doesn’t do it alone; it takes a village.

“We appreciate my coaching staff, Cass Tech coaching staff, Westside Cubs; all the people that had a hand in my success coming back here and helping me,” Lewis said.

Then there’s his mom, Linda Cornelius-Lewis who helps run the foundation.

“The world is just so evil now, you have to have somebody who actually comes from the heart,” said Cornelius-Lewis.

They also do an annual turkey giveaway and Thanksgiving meal in Dallas.

“They fed them there and then Jourdan speaks to them and then he goes and plays games with them,” Cornelius-Lewis said.

Detroit is the only city that offers this free football camp.

The young athletes not only leave tired and inspired but with an official t-shirt and gloves.

“We know a lot of these kids have a season coming up and a lot of them can’t have gloves or don’t have gloves so we try to get them some equipment to go out there and enjoy their season,” Lewis said.

The Jourdan Lewis Foundation is creating a scholarship and hope to have college football coaches join the camp next year. To help in their efforts, visit their GoFundMe here. 

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.