In 2007, former Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson founded Fight for Life Foundation (FFLF) to help deserving but underserved youth develop the social and emotional qualities needed for success. Marlin’s goal for FFLF was to introduce kids to life lessons, helping them build character qualities that he learned along his difficult but successful life. And from the Colts star who intercepted Tom Brady’s pass that sealed the AFC Championship win and sent the Colts to Super Bowl XLI, Marlin’s leadership at Fight for Life Foundation is having an incredible impact in the lives of the children served through its various programs.
The Fight For Life Foundation’s flagship program is Building Dreams. The Building Dreams program provides Social Emotional Learning-focused curriculum that helps students learn the virtues, values, and character traits needed to be successful in school and in life. Building Dreams is currently in five Indianapolis schools, and at Musser Elementary in Sharon, Pennsylvania, the school Marlin attended as a child.
The Building Dreams program consists of 8-week and 32-week curriculum formats, and delivers age-appropriate materials to several grade segments including: pre-K to kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grades, 3rd through 5th grades, and 6th through 8th grades. It is delivered via an initial Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) proof of concept technology platform that enables teachers to access and deliver the lesson plan, and track each student’s progress.
The initial implementation and impact of the Building Dreams program have been so successful—with valuable user feedback collected on how to make it work even better for teachers, parents, students and administrators—that Marlin and his team came to Counterpart to architect what a scalable production version of the SaaS platform (2.0) should include. After a couple deep-dive architecting sessions, we developed a platform roadmap outlining 18 weeks of development that focuses on the core functionality while also enhancing the teacher interface and accessibility, and making the platform more engaging for students and their guardians.
FFLF’s mission closely aligns with Counterpart’s passion for youth mentoring and giving back. Understanding the need and constraints of FFLF, and to support the incredible impact this program is having on our youth, Counterpart is joining the fight by donating a portion of the scope of work for the 2.0 project. We are making great progress towards the goal line. The positive feedback we’re receiving on the new platform interface and functionality is exciting. We can’t wait to share the impact and results once Building Dreams App 2.0 is launched this summer. In the meantime, we’re thrilled to share a sneak peek of the new design!