With the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, the Watts Rams were also front and center.
The Watts Rams is a youth football program founded by the LAPD to connect with the community through sports. For one LAPD-officer-turned-coach, it was a dream come true to take 24 youth players to America’s biggest game day.
Lester Bodiford Jr., a Sr. Lead Officer at LAPD's 77th Station and in the Community Safety Partnership Bureau is one of the many police officer coaches for the Watts Rams. Bodiford is a former college football player and a father of four. He also plays on LAPD's Centurians football team.
The Watts Rams, formerly the Watts Bears, was founded by the LAPD. It falls under the non-profit Project Blue, formerly known as Cops and Kids.
Project Blue is about connecting kids and law enforcement through sports for positive interactions. It's about making safe places for kids to play sports in under resourced areas. It's about connecting community with law enforcement.
In December, Project Blue was awarded a $50,000 grant at SoFi Stadium by LA's Super Bowl Host Committee.
It was one of six organization to receive the big grant. In all, 56 local nonprofits were named Legacy Champions ahead of Super Bowl LVI with the other 50 receiving $10,000 grants.
Project Blue's executive director is former Watts school vice principal Marc Maye who grew up in Compton. In Part 1 of our stories on this nonprofit, we highlight Maye’s career and contribution.
PART 1: Project Blue, partners with after-school programs to create safe neighborhoods for kids
In Community Champions, FOX 11 showcases grant recipients being honored during Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. For more information on the Super Bowl LVI Legacy Program and the selected nonprofit organizations, click here.