By Maya Palavali
Cheers erupt in the indoor stadium as a football play is successfully executed while the players high five the people around them.
From July 8 to July 10, student athletes from underserved communities across Dallas received professional NFL style training alongside life-long technical skills in the program, Camp Exposure.
Created in 2018 by Tyler Patmon, together with Lubbock Smith III and Jeremiah Hatch, the camp was born from the Patmon family’s non-profit organization “Shine in Darkness.” Using the pillars and occupational teaching of the non-profit, Camp Exposure has been able to grow the message.
“This has been a faith based holistic youth development program,” Co-founder and Director of Corporate Relations, Lubbock Smith III said. “We want to make sure that they fully discover everything they need so they can maximize all opportunities in life.”
The unique combination of athletics and professional skills comes from the experiences of the people behind the project with the challenges and lessons they have learned.
“We as former athletes understand the trials and tribulations of having our identity too wrapped up in the sport, and struggling with the transition into the professional world and into regular life,” Patmon said. “We really want to help these kids understand who they are outside [of football].”
The three-day camp consisted of 99 participants, which were admitted through a selection process. The days were packed with fun activities, separated into football practice, informational panels and free time. The students were provided with top notch facilities and other amenities.
“You’re not going to find a lot of those top trainers, you’re not going to a lot of indoor places like this there.” Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Jeremiah Hatch said.
From its start, Camp Exposure has grown from a small Dallas based foundation to a DFW area organization, with sponsors such as Vista Bank, the Dallas Cowboys, Embassy Suites hotel, Highland Park Independent School District and many others.
“It was originally only for underserved communities here in Dallas, but because it was getting so much traction, they opened it up to the DFW area.,” Goldman Sachs volunteer, Ikechukwu Ubani said. “Just by knowing that and seeing what I’m looking at now, it’s going to grow tremendously.”
“We’re volunteering with Goldman Sachs as part of the community teamwork’s program,” Goldman Sachs volunteer, Andy Liu said.
Win With Why is an organization specializing in equipping school coaches and administrators to help their athletes in a healthy way. The foundation quickly became charmed by Camp Exposure because of the attention to details.
“I’ve been in education for 70 years; In that space of athletics, people don’t pay attention to the details,” Win With Why, Dr. Shyrell Hobson said. “I saw what camp exposure is doing, as far as developing in all these things they don’t learn in public education.”
Camp Exposure will have a lifetime positive impact on everyone that has been involved.
“This is not just a football camp,” Baylor Bears cornerback, Byron Hanspard, Jr. said.
“This is something that they’ll be able to take away with different things that are very important for an athlete’s mind, body and strengths.”