Baltimore Ravens defensive back and return specialist Cyrus Jones is holding his first youth football camp on July 13, 2019, hosted by his newly formed organization, The Cy. Jones Foundation. Having a camp at his former high school in Baltimore is a homecoming for the Gilman School graduate.
"It's something I always wanted to do. I felt like this was the perfect time for it. Being back home, going into my fourth year has given me an opportunity to be in the community a lot more," Jones said about the camp.
The camp will have a few special speakers to offer positive words in addition to the football drills the kids will take part in. It's important to make sure the kids receive a message while they're dialed in at camp.
Jones said he saw a lot of people doing camps and charging kids. He wanted to make sure his camp was free so anyone could attend. Even though the camp is free, the kids attending will receive lunch and a t-shirt.
Dick's Sporting Goods and Whole Foods as sponsors of the camp, according to Jones.
Jones, a Baltimore resident remembered when he was a youngster and went to former Ravens linebacker Ed Hartwell's football camp at a field where his Pop Warner team played. He was excited to meet one of the Ravens. He is looking forward to providing that same sense of excitement at his camp.
"It's very genuine being out there in an organic setting and being able to see young kids in the same position I was in not too long ago trying to achieve something," Jones said. "Giving them a chance to have fun and be around NFL guys, I know how much that meant to me when I was younger."
The Cy. Jones Foundation aims to serve as a beacon of light for younger people of Baltimore, who are otherwise exposed to difficult circumstances.
"My foundation is going to be an organization to help shape the minds and provide hope for the younger generation," Jones explained. "Growing up in Baltimore, I tell people I wasn't the only one with gifts. A lot of my homeboys had opportunities but for whatever reasons, they didn't take advantage of it. They didn't have people behind them to lead them in the right direction and keep them in the right direction. I want to provide an impact where I grew up."
Jones enlisted the help of Amani Scott ESQ to get the foundation up and running. Scott is proud of Jones' vision, especially the things it will open up to Baltimore youth.
"Using his platform and name as an athlete as a doorway to opportunities for these young people to get involved in workshops and programs with STEM education is something that I'm really proud of with him. It's not just about football camps. He has been exposed to a lot, now he's turning around and offering the same opportunities of exposure to these young people," Scott said.
Jones' foundation will hold a back to school drive in addition to community outreach projects during the holidays. He is looking to partner with other groups to offer new programming that will open up educational opportunities to young people in Baltimore. The organization’s goal is to unlock and expose youth to dreams that go beyond just athletics.
"We want to introduce the young people of Baltimore to the world and what it has to offer!," Scott added.