Game Changers Golf Outing to Benefit Annarella Scholarship

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Game Changers is gearing up to host a leadership summit for student-athletes and a golf outing that helps to fund the organization’s Phil Annarella Legacy Scholarship. 

Game Changers is a charitable 501(c)(3) leadership and peer mentoring initiative founded in 2014 by Michael E. Engram Jr., a 1996 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School. 

As a student-athlete, Engram was mentored by Annarella, who coached the Harding football team and was instrumental in supporting Engram as he established Game Changers.

Annarella died unexpectedly in 2019. Engram established the Phil Annarella Legacy Scholarship shortly thereafter. Two scholarships are awarded yearly and accompany an expenses-paid experience to the ESPY Award show hosted by ESPN in Los Angeles.

“This is our fifth year awarding scholarships to deserving athletes, coupled with exposing them to opportunities that align with successful careers in the sports industry,” Engram says.

The 2023 recipients will be announced in June.

The Game Changers Golf Classic will take place July 1 at Pine Lakes Golf Club in Hubbard. Initial sponsors are Chick-fil-A and Outback Steakhouse. To register for the event, or support by being a sponsor, click HERE

Michael E. Engram Jr., founder of Game Changers, speaks to student-athletes.

The GC-360 Leadership Summit will take place June 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the DeBartolo Stadium Club at Youngstown State University. It will consist of seminars, open discussions, lunch and breakout sessions that address important character values, financial literacy, social/emotional intelligence and academic standards at the collegiate level.

“Our focus isn’t on athletics. Instead, 90% of our day is designed on teaching athletes to transition the positive life skills taught through sports into assets that will make them more marketable in their personal and professional lives,” Engram says. “Our mission is to create game-changing platforms that encourage student retention and an increase in graduation rates among high school athletes.”

As of this posting, high schools sending student-athletes to the GC-360 Leadership Summit include Austintown Fitch, East, LaBrae, Niles, Warren G. Harding, Chaney and Liberty, according to Engram.

Presenters will be YSU and professional athletes, local entrepreneurs and business leaders. Among them are Derek Rivers, a YSU graduate and defensive end with the Houston Texans, and Usama Young from the NFL Department of Player Development. 

“As adults, I believe that we have to do everything possible to engage our young people and immerse them in opportunities that can make an indelible mark in their lives,” Engram says. “Our young people have to battle off negative peer pressure, social media expectations and even some challenging living situations. Our hope is to bring them a little reprieve and let them hear what is possible when they stay the course and have the right people around them.”

The cost to attend the GC-360 Leadership Summit is $35 if paid by June 10; $55 by the June 15 deadline. 

Registration and opportunities for businesses to sponsor the event are available HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.