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Tarrant County 'U-Turn' Tees Off with 14 Participants


Participants in a dynamic new program for juveniles on probation in Tarrant County (Texas) met for the first time July 10 to commit to the intensive life-changing "U-Turn" program funded by PGA golfer Chad Campbell and his wife, Amy.

Fourteen juveniles on probation and their parents or caregivers participated in the program's first session. The probationers are ages 14 to 18 and have committed misdemeanor and felony offenses, and have chosen to participate in the program, which is offered in both English and Spanish. It will reach approximately 50 families this year.

According to the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, in 2007 police agencies in the Lone Star State processed 135,685 arrests of juveniles between the ages of 10 and 16; thousands of those were for serious felonies. "U-Turn" provides opportunities for change at the local level. The goal of the eight-week program is to provide young offenders and their families with a comprehensive program to help turn their lives around and make better choices to establish the foundation for a successful future.

Weekly "U-Turn" sessions, facilitated by Heart of a Champion facilitators, and held at the Lynn W. Ross Juvenile Justice Center in Fort Worth, focus on eight core character principles: commitment, respect, integrity, responsibility, self-control, compassion, perseverance and leadership. Students are trained in a four-hour session each Saturday. Their parents or caregivers are trained on the same principles, at the same time, in a separate facility.

The program, based on the critically acclaimed Heart of a Champion curriculum, is designed to reach today's "sight and sound" generation. It reinforces positive character traits while incorporating critical thinking exercises and demonstrating examples of individuals with high character. It incorporates a unique blend of character enrichment goals, life-skills training, career and culture experiences, academic enhancements, community service learning projects and life-coaching.

The Campbell's initiated "U-Turn" in partnership with the Heart of a Champion Foundation. Fourteen Tarrant County families committed to participate in the first eight-week session program and additional programs will continue throughout the year with new students and their families.

"The first session was a great start to a life-changing experience for these families," said Amy Campbell, who was present for the first session. "The 'U-Turn' program is going to make a huge impact on the lives of so many teenagers."

"We are proud to partner with Heart of a Champion and Tarrant County Juvenile Services to have an impact on the lives of these teens. I can't think of a better way to invest our time and resources," added Chad Campbell.

"U-Turn" is part of the Chad and Amy Campbell Project. The Campbells and Heart of a Champion seek to develop "U-Turn" as a model program that can be replicated in communities across America, through partnerships with Chad's peers, and organizations and corporations committed to supporting the initiative and responding in a meaningful way to the needs and priorities of at-risk youth. For more information, visit www.chadamycampbellproject.com.

Heart of a Champion Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Colleyville, Texas, that has created an innovative character education program for students across the country. The organization was founded in 1997 by leaders in business, education and sports who desired to impact a generation of students by teaching powerful lessons of character. For further details, visit www.heartofachampion.org.