More than 600 teens from across the Garden State gathered at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., on Saturday to participate in the inaugural session of Training Camps for Life, a partnership of the NFL Players Association, A Call to Men and the Verizon Foundation that aims to create a dialogue among young men intended to promote equality in relationships, safety on school campuses and promote youth leadership in violence prevention.
The session was the first of 12 to be held across the United States this year that are funded through a $250,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to A Call to Men, a globally renowned men’s organization that promotes domestic and sexual violence prevention.
The session lasted half a day and included speeches from several top NFL players on the subjects of manhood and respect, including New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty.
“These camps, designed to help teens build strong values and important life skills, are a perfect setting to start building a coalition of men and boys to help break the cycle of violence,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Verizon Foundation president. “With this important message of nonviolence coming from the players the children idolize, our vision of a world without domestic fear will begin to take root.”
With studies showing that one in three teens experiences relationship abuse and 47 percent admit to having compromised their values to appease their partner, the Verizon Foundation’s partnership with the NFL Players Association on the Training Camps for Life program aims to foster a healthy, respectful manhood in impressionable students. Additional camps in Pittsburgh, Tampa, Boston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta will be held this fall.
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