Sioux City North athlete creates Demarico Young Athletic Readiness Foundation

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 8:51 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -Sioux City North high athlete Demarico Young has already inspired others with his perseverance, so much that he won the NFL Way to Play award last fall.

On Monday, Young announced he would be starting the Demarico Young Athletic Readiness Foundation.

Young said he became inspired after winning the Way to Play award. It became his mission to find ways to help his school and future student athletes.

The non-profit will focus on North high school football, North high school track & field, and a total well-being program for North high school, as well as establishing an athletic academy where students can go for tutoring and mental performance counseling.

Young also plans on the foundation collecting new and gently worn shoes. All of this will be done with the goal of making it easier for students of all backgrounds to be able to find success as athletes and beyond.

Young’s life has been positively impacted by the support of others, which has now inspired him to pay it forward.

”So, the very first day was probably when Miss Dawn gave me my spikes. It absolutely changed my perspective, because at that point, I decided to make a plan to do better for somebody else too, because she did that for me. I didn’t realize that I was the only one that didn’t have, that other people didn’t have either. So now it’s my turn to pay forward,” said Demarico Young, Sioux City North junior.

Young says it will be the proudest moment of his life when he’s able to give his first pair of shoes to someone in need, paying forward the help he at one point received himself.

Full release:

Sioux City North High School Student Athlete, Demarico Young, has established his own non-profit foundation to benefit student athletes and athletic programs at Sioux City North High and around the Siouxland area.

“The Demarico Young Athletic Readiness Foundation is my way of paying forward the support I have been given during a time when I thought there was no hope for me,” says Young.

The Demarico Young Athletic Readiness Foundation will focus on four program priorities: North High football, North High track, North High total well-being program, and the establishment of an athletic academy where students in activities can go for tutoring assistance and mental performance counseling. Young’s hope is that this will assist in building academically stronger student athletes, assist with keeping students academically eligible for their activities, and spread awareness about the importance of athletics as a tool to achieve higher education.

“One of my goals is to help students see that participation in athletics and being a great student can help them get to college. Sports are fun. I love being an athlete, but education is the key to my future success. I know my body will wear out one day,” adds Young.

In addition to his program priorities, Young has plans for his foundation to collect new and gently used athletic shoes and equipment as part of his mission to pay it forward.

“I knew I was a good athlete, but I did not have what I needed to participate in track and football after my family fell on hard times. I also worried that hearing coaches would not take a chance on a deaf kid coming from a deaf school to a public school,” says Young.

Young attributes a part of his recent athletic success to the provision of the interpreter of his choice for practices and games and the donation of track spikes and football cleats. One pair of track spikes provided to Young by donation changed the course of his life forever.

“My interpreter handed me spikes and said, ‘Make the best use of them that you can. Run fast! These spikes are a tool for a successful future so get to work’ and here I am,” adds Young.

It is the hope of the foundation that they will be able to remove barriers and lessen challenges for students like Young. Additionally, the foundation already has a major project in the works and Young is looking forward to being able to announce it soon.

“After receiving the NFL Way to Play award [in the fall], I became motivated to do more to benefit my school and future students,” Young says.

The Demarico Young Athletic Readiness Foundation is accepting donations and is actively seeking community and national partners for its larger project. Young is recruiting the foundation’s Board of Directors and is thrilled to be able to pay forward to others in Siouxland.