Project Effort focuses on fostering personal and social responsibility among underserved youngsters. It is in its twenty-second year of operation. We have served 700 children and youth.

Project Effort came about as part of a collaborative between UNCG’s Department of Kinesiology (formerly Exercise and Sport Science) and the Guilford County Schools.

The initial purpose was to give kids plagued by low grades, high office referrals, and school suspension, an opportunity to be part of a values-based after-school program that would help them channel negative energy in a positive way. Throughout the years, Project Effort was expanded to include a leadership program called the Youth Leader Corps.

This program has high school adolescents (former members of the after-school sports program), plan and teach values-based sport activities to other youngsters from the community. Both graduate and undergraduate students assist in the sport and leadership programs.

The Youth Leader Corps program serves kids from other public housing communities, especially those with heavy immigrant families from Mexico, Viet Nam, and Africa. While the focus of both programs is on sports, the underlying message is that kids need to learn how to make decisions that are healthy for themselves and society.


  • Create an environment where kids can have fun, be happy with themselves, and enjoy coming back week after week
  • Teach others how to work effectively alone and together
  • Take responsibility as a group to build our minds through teaching others
  • Foster an “I can” instead of an “I can’t” mindset in children and youth
  • Apply personal and social responsibility values outside of the gym
Tom Martinek and students from Project Effort


To get involved with the Project Effort and Youth Leader Corps programs, contact Dr. Tom Martinek, program director.

[email protected],


Drop By
Room 264 of the Coleman Building of UNC Greensboro.