The idea to create City ACES emerged during Dr. C. Frank Igwe’s monthly volunteering activities with inner city children in Pennsylvania’s Capital city. When speaking to the kids, he would routinely ask them what they wanted to be when they grew up, and he observed that upwards of ninety percent would say either a professional basketball or football player. However, Frank knew the chances of becoming a professional athlete were quite slim, and the key to helping these young children realize their full potential, lay in engraining education as Plan A, with all subsequent career paths being predicated on a well educated individual.
During one of his monthly talks, Frank invited one of his closest friends, Leonce Crump (a former NFL player), to join him in speaking to the kids. The result was nothing short of miraculous, as the children sat spellbound, taking in every word that was spoken. The connection was then made in Frank’s mind, to reach the children utilizing those whom they idolized. Subsequent talks with Jamaal Davenport and others revealed an alignment of interests for youth development and education, substantial NFL and NBA connections, and a deep desire to see the project succeed. City ACES was born.
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.