Elevate Your G.A.M.E. (EYG) was founded in 2002 by Gipson Lyles (chairman of the board) and Michael Freeman (the executive director).
Michael Freeman met Gipson Lyles (principal of Compton High School in 2001) at his high school class reunion dinner in the fall of 2001. Gipson was there to share an update on Compton High, but all Michael remembers about his presentation was his appeal for help. Michael responded to Gipson’s appeal and went back to Compton High to meet with Principal Lyles to discuss how he might help. Gipson shared his vision for establishing a mentoring program on the campus and Michael knew right then that he was to be the one to help Principal Lyles bring this vision into reality. A few months later on April 13, 2002, Elevate Your G.A.M.E. was born with a kick-off event that matched the first set of mentors with the first set of students.
Compton High School, the “birthplace” of the program, has provided a strong base from which the program has grown internally and externally. In the first year, 45 students were mentored.
Now, over 1,600 students have been mentored since 2002 and EYG participants have a 95% graduation rate. EYG students have received scholarships and have been accepted to universities across the United States including: UCLA, Tuskegee, Xavier, Pepperdine, UC Berkley and Biola.
Although EYG has had great success, there continues to be a multitude of urban students who do not have the opportunity to participate in this life-changing mentoring program. This is why EYG is committed to partnering with other organizations to launch a movement of mentoring that spreads to every urban high school in America.
To date we have facilitated mentoring programs on the campuses of Cabrillo, Centennial, Compton, Crenshaw, Dominguez, Harbor Teacher Prep., Frederick Douglass Academy, Long Beach Wilson and View Park Prep.. We also for many years conducted a mentoring program in the Northpointe Apartments (Long Beach).