PODCAST: S2:EP18 Steve Riach, One Heart Project

Join us for S2:EP18 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Steve Riach, One Heart Project, sits down with our host, Roy Kessel, to discuss how his background in telling stories about #athletes and #sports organizations led him to launch the One Heart Project to help kids navigating the Juvenile Justice System. #SocialJustice #JusticeReform #SocialChange

For over 15 years, Steve has served as Board Chairman for Heart of a Champion Foundation, a highly effective 501(c)3 charity that has transformed the lives of over 500,000 youth in 26 states across America through proven life skills and mentoring programs. Based on the foundation’s success in public schools, after school outlets and juvenile justice facilities, inmates at Gainesville were targeted as a follow up program to a unique football game. The results were remarkable. Thirty inmates were taken through One Heart programs and measured, while a control group of and thirty additional inmates who did not go through the program were also measured. All thirty of the young men who went through the program were released early based on good behavior. Only one in the control group was released early.

Nationally, nearly 70% of incarcerated juvenile males are rearrested; the vast majority within six months of initial release. Of the 14 boys who participated in the original Gainesville-Faith game in 2008, only three have been rearrested now three years out.

Steve Riach joins our host Roy Kessel on S2:EP18 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:30 Background–professional career in sports media
  • 06:30 Sports for social good and social change
  • 08:30 Working to highlight people of great character
  • 11:00 How he tells stories of great success through struggles
  • 13:30 Details about the One Heart Project
  • 17:30 Difference between reality and TV portrayal of the juveniles
  • 19:30 Importance of hope for these kids
  • 22:00 Systemic issues in those organizations
  • 25:00 Stories of how kids get trapped into the system
  • 30:30 NFL Players with siblings in the system
  • 32:00 Creation of Fan Bags
  • 35:00 Importance of people who know how to teach
  • 38:30 Expansion of One Heart programs and entry to other markets

Website & Social Media Links:

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
Sports Philanthropy Network

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