SHOWING POSSIBILITIES & GIVING CHANCES TO CHAMPIONS


          The Champion Project is the way to top-tier colleges for Black and Latinx students. Our mission is to not only provide you with an elite educational experience, but also a supportive community of like-minded peers to go far with. Founded by a Black FGLI woman and current college student who works closely with admissions, The Champion Project truly speaks to both sides of the industry with firsthand knowledge, full transparency and a collaborative spirit. Enrolling at TCP will equip you with the tools necessary to achieve your goals and excel as a leader on campus & beyond. Matriculation at The Champion Project is extraordinary as our primary focus is the empowerment of diverse scholars. We are committed to your growth and here to help as you navigate your unique trajectory in the world of college admissions & life. 

OUR STORY

The Champion Project exists because our founder, Leila Champion, faced many struggles on her journey while applying for elite colleges. 

 

Born and raised in the projects of Dayton, Ohio, Leila Champion had a natural love for learning! She put her all into being the best student she could be and the classroom became her home away from home.

 

Being the product of a mother who understands growing up impoverished all to well and a troubled father, the importance of using education as a path to a better life was instilled in Leila at a very young age. Leila’s mother took her education very seriously and put her in the best schools she could afford. 

 

As a non traditional college graduate, Leila’s mother didn’t know exactly what it would take to ensure her daughter was successful however she put her in as many positive spaces as she could to make sure she could learn from elsewhere. 

 

At the beginning of Leila’s high school career, her behavior in the classroom started to be too much so her mother made the tough decision of removing her from the crowd she was running with and put her into a college preparatory charter school in Indianapolis. 

This was pivotal moment in Leila’s life. Yes she had always done well in school but she was also typically seen as a unicorn being one of the only advanced Black girls. At her new school, almost every student was Black and they were all held to a standard of excellence. 

Being in this space allowed Leila to be confident in her skin, appreciate her resilience, get serious about her collegiate goals, understand what it would take to get there, and later dream big about what she wanted for her life. 

 

While attending Tindley, Leila began to research and take part in several programs and activities that allowed her to grow as a person & gain much needed experiences. The most notable being her chance to attend Harvard University’s Secondary School Program for a summer. 

 

Prior to attending this program, Leila had no idea what Ivy League schools were and no desire to attend one. When she started to look at the average student profile of an Ivy League student she immediately thought there was no way of getting into these schools for someone like her and no way she’d be able to afford it. 

 

Her summer at Harvard changed her mind completely! After seeing what it would be like to be an actual Harvard student, she became upset that she hadn’t known about the possibility sooner so she could have started preparing her application much sooner like her  friends she had met while there. 

 

Being the solution-oriented go-getter that she is, Leila decided to make do with what she had and prepare the best application she could while applying to colleges. She also committed herself to making sure that students who came after her with dreams of attending Ivy League schools or the equivalent could avoid the huge learning curve she had to overcome as far as learning how to craft a competitive application that included an outstanding resume, essay(s), and stellar standardized test scores. 

Leila applied everything she had learned from the college prep sessions at Harvard, her peers, and outside college admission research to her own applications and was able to land over 50 college acceptances - some of the most notable being University of Southern California,  Howard University, Spelman University, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and the University of Notre Dame where she now attends. She was also offered over 1.5 million dollars in scholarships. 

 

Now, Leila wants to make sure students who look like her or come from a similar background as her avoid as many hurdles as possible when chasing their collegiate dreams!

 

With her personal experiences of being a first-generation college student coming from an extremely under-resourced background coupled with every thing that she now knows about the college admissions process, Leila Champion founded The Champion Project to inspire Black, Brown, and Latinx students to apply for every opportunity that comes their way in spite of their limiting beliefs, pursue their wildest dreams regardless of what obstacles are thrown in their way, ensure that they have the resources they need to competitively apply for prestigious educational opportunities, and ultimately become amazing leaders. 

 

TIMELINE:

June 26,  2018 - Leila started her summer at Harvard SSP.

August 4, 2018 - Leila decided to create an organization that tackles the discrepancies in elite college access for Black, Brown, and Latinx students after recognizing her peers didn't know these opportunities were available to them. 

November 4, 2018 - Application for the inaugural Ivy League College Tour opens

November 11, 2018 - TCP’s Inaugural Ivy League College Tour crowdfund started via GoFundMe - a total of $4,765 was raised for the initiative.

January 22, 2019 - TCP was featured on Channel 8. 

February 20, 2019- Leila was interviewed by the Grey Area Media team to discuss The Champion Project & our  upcoming college tour.

March 27, 2019 - Demi Mykal with the Indystar interviewed Leila and a few students attending top-tier schools to hear about the importance of creating opportunities for Black students to pursue top-tier institutions. 

June 25, 2019 - Our founder received the Community Hero of The Month from Fox59 & The Community Health Network

March 31, 2019 - April 4, 2019 - The Champion Project successfully took 20 students ranging from 6th-11th grade to visit 5 Ivy League colleges.

June 25, 2019 - The inaugural Champion Coaching program began accepting applications. 

July 31, 2019 - Leila reached out to some of her favorite community members and supporters and asked them to take a seat on our board

August 11, 2019 - The Champion Project became a LLC.

October 1, 2019 - The 2nd Ivy College Tour application opened. 35 students applied to attend!

December 11, 2019 - The Champion Project became legally recognized as a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization

March 11, 2020 - 2nd Ivy League College Tour postponed due to COVID-19.

June 2020 - Our first cohort (6) of high school seniors successfully graduated from our Champion Coaching program and are headed to college.

July 12, 2020 - The Mind Trust announced they would be awarding a $5,000 grant to The Champion Project, our first grant!!! 

August 2, 2020 -  Our Champion Coaching sign ups opened for year two.

 August 14, 2020 - Our coaching sign ups closed with 41 high school students coming into cohort 2. 

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