Along with his wife Mickey, Mike Gottfried, former University of Pittsburgh football coach and current ESPN analyst, has been reaching out to young boys without fathers since 2000.
The Gottfried’s founded Team Focus, a Christian community outreach program for fatherless boys from California to Washington, D.C., in 2000. Team Focus mentors boys without fathers due to death, incarceration, divorce or other life situations.
Mike’s vision and drive for the program is based on his own life experiences as his father died in his arms when he was just 10 years old.
He says, “Growing up without a father around and knowing what it feels like, I have a desire to provide a place for young men to come and be encouraged, motivated and challenged.”
The goal of Team Focus is to provide young men that do not have a father figure in their lives, ages 10-to-18, with daily leadership skills, guidance, godly values and a continual daily relationship with a mentor. Through teamwork with families, teachers and counselors, Team Focus offers support in a relaxed, cost-free atmosphere and more than 1,300 boys have been to Team Focus leadership camps.
Team Focus began with “Camp Focus,” a single summer camp, with the goal to teach young boys the things a father would usually teach them: How to fish, tie a tie, be courteous and balance a checkbook.
Those selected for the camp were exposed to a wide variety of social and educational skills to help them as they advanced through school and their lives.
Today, Team Focus provides activities throughout the year for its members to develop life-long friendships and participate in new and different life experiences.
Team Focus has grown tremendously over the years and the organization continues to move forward “guiding young men to the ultimate victory.”
They remind the boys what Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
For more information, visit TeamFocusOnline.org.