Skip to main content

Rams News | Los Angeles Rams -

Rams Cheerleaders & mascot Rampage surprise Markham Middle School with Hometown Grant to support flag football efforts

In partnership with GENYOUth, the Los Angeles Rams presented Edwin Markham Middle School with a $5,000 Hometown Grant to enhance their health and wellness initiatives. Rams Cheerleaders and mascot Rampage joined the event to lead an education session about the benefits of playing flag football. In addition, the Rams donated flag football kits for the school to utilize during their physical education periods.

"[The Rams] are here because we align with their mission statement around community and giving back," said Yumi Kawasaki, Markham Middle School principal and Rams 2023 pLAymaker. "In a community like Watts, there's a lot of raw talent that we don't always get to develop as instructors. With the grant, we're able to get equipment that hopefully will help build up our flag football program and other physical fitness activities."

Students also participated in a walk-through style football practice featuring on-field activities and drills. Keith Tillas, seventh grader at Markham Middle School, reflected on the day and said, "It makes me feel special because some people never get to have this moment. It makes me feel happy."

GENYOUth is a nationally recognized youth wellness organization with reach and impact. GENYOUth and its partners have a shared purpose: creating healthy school communities by empowering students and providing resources for youth to build healthy, high-achieving futures.

Markham Middle School is supported by Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Launched in 2007, they are an independent nonprofit, in-district partner of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), serving 13,550 students across twenty of the most under-resourced schools in Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles and Watts communities. The Partnership aims to accelerate student achievement, especially for Black and Latino students, while scaling school transformation successes across its network of schools and the nation's school districts.

Kawasaki shared the impact of having the Rams present at Markham Middle School. "A lot of our kids can describe negative aspects of growing up in a place like Watts, but having the organization here today brings them more joy and pride to be part of Markham and such a historic part of Los Angeles."

Since returning to Los Angeles in 2016, the Rams have helped award more than $90,000 in Hometown Grants to schools throughout Southern California. For more information about the Rams' community outreach efforts, visit

Related Content