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NFL vet launches Fort Wayne youth football nonprofit

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A new nonprofit has launched in Fort Wayne with the goal of expanding opportunities for youth football throughout the city and Allen County. The Northeast Indiana Football Association says it also aims to “impact the community through the development of servant leaders.” 

The organization was founded in part by Jason Baker, a Fort Wayne native and 11-year veteran of the NFL.

“This is a ‘for us, by us’ organization – designed in partnership with those it will serve and benefit,” Baker said in a news release. “We believe that football is a powerful tool to build stronger leaders and better communities, thanks to character qualities like teamwork, discipline, focus and resilience that come from a positive football experience. This organization is committed to providing every youth football player with that type of experience.”

NIFA says its first initiative will be the Root System, which is a limited pilot program in partnership with PAL Fort Wayne, East Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne Community Schools, and Homestead High School. The program will provide training, resources and development services for coaches, players and parents as schools in each district work to host individual PAL youth football teams.

“Our goal is to provide the training, guidance and resources needed to achieve the highest levels of excellence, safety and equity,” said Baker. “Together, schools and leagues will ensure that all players are given an equal opportunity to participate in football the right way.”

NIFA says it will also eventually offer programs for students through 12th grade in partnership with the NFL Foundation, NFL Youth Football and USA Football, among other organizations.

You can learn more about NIFA and its upcoming flag and tackle football seasons by clicking here.