CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — One Champaign organization is hoping to provide a safe place for 3-8th graders. “My favorite part is that you get faster and stronger,” Donnie Monahan. 

It’s called Project Athletes, an after-school program that offers conditioning and strength training. It targets low income or high-risk youth. “To improve athletic ability for children and personal growth,” said Shannon Walter, project manager with the Leonhard Recreation Center at the Champaign Park district. 

Walter says all athletic skill levels are welcome. “Provide an opportunity for kids at any skill level to get athletic training, focus on health and wellness and just to have a team to be a part of,” 

Donnie Monahan and his friends spend their time training with Project Athlete. “If you do if you’ll get 5 percent faster and it will make you a better athlete,” Donnie says one of the best parts of Project Athletes is working with the coaches. “Thats because they have a lot of experience being coach,” said Monahan. 

Project Athletes recognize the ongoing violence in the surrounding area, which is why they hope to provide a safe space for low income or at-risk students. “It doesn’t matter what you’re in or what you’ve been through, just do it because it will make you a better adult too,” said Monahan.  

The next session is in February. To learn more, click here.