Overview

The 34 Ways Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by former NFL New Orleans Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie. 34 Ways Foundation was founded as a support organization to provide guidance and encouragement to youth through football camps, community activities, and other programs. Its mission is to help youth by promoting sports, academics, and other mentoring programs that build character, teach discipline, and encourage good health and education.

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34 Ways hosts annual football camps, sporting events, celebrity fundraisers, food and school drives, and spelling bees for elementary and middle school aged students in economically disadvantaged communities. The Foundation’s motto of “Teaching, Reaching, and Educating Youth 4 Life!” is a goal oriented message to inspire and motivate youth to attain their goals. It also promotes overall health, physical fitness, strength, and hope for a brighter future.

Background

34 Ways Foundation held its first camp in April 2004 in Miami, FL. The initial camp served 120 elementary and middle school children from Miami-Dade County.

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Since then, the organization has continued the camp every April, serving over 350 school-aged children in 2007; while also branching out into other regions in the south the past two years such as Memphis, TN, New Orleans, LA, and Lake Charles, LA. To date, the Foundation has served over 7,000 youth within the various cities. In 2015, it established a presence in Los Angeles, CA.

 

Objectives

The main objectives of the 34 Ways Foundation are to assess the level of adolescent participation in organizations whose programs are designed for young people, to identify best practices and to make recommendations to improve their involvement in decision making, as well as program design, implementation and evaluation.

  • Charter the foundation on college campuses throughout the Southern states utilizing University of Memphis as the first University to house this foundation to empower youth as well as the students on campus. This will enable the students to participate in community service, become student tutors at the university as well as the local high schools. Provide the students with other resources toward upward mobility.
  • 34 Ways Foundation uses sports and other various activities as a vehicle to reach out to children and the community. We believe that children need guidance and encouragement to turn their dreams into reality.
  • The goal is to foster an environment that not only creates positive individuals, but also instilling self and community pride.
  • To create annual events throughout the year to empower and engage communities.

Visions & Goals

When establishing the 34 Ways Foundation, Mike McKenzie’s desire was to reach families in 34 WAYS, meaning in every possible way. His desire turned into our vision to foster an environment that not only creates positive individuals, but also instill pride in every community member. In addition to promoting health, physical fitness, community strength and hope for a brighter future, to challenge ourselves each year to be as innovative and creative in fundraising and program implementation. Our most important goal is to continue to reach a different family, a different child, a different city, a different state.

Who We Serve

New Orleans, LA

Miami, FL

Memphis, TN

Los Angeles, CA