Project FLEX

Graduate students lead the charge at Project FLEX, aiming to create positive change in the lives of young people through sports and physical activity. By providing mentorship and structured life skill discussions, such as conflict resolution, positive decision-making, and resilience, Project FLEX helps young people develop important life skills.


Only 29% of incarcerated youth reported engaging in regular physical activity.

Journal of Correctional Health Care

Swole Patrol

Swole Patrol empowers young people by allowing them to choose their own certified personal trainer for biweekly, one-on-one mentoring sessions that prioritize mindfulness, fitness, and nutrition. Through regular assessments, Swole Patrol helps young people track their progress and development over time. In addition, weekly homework assignments help participants further their knowledge and practice exercising on their own.


Only 55% of juvenile detention centers provide daily structured physical activity to their residents.

National Commission on Correctional Health Care

CREW: College Readiness Exposure Week

College Readiness Exposure Week (CREW) is a unique program that gives incarcerated youth the chance to experience life as a Northern Illinois University student. Participants in this program are selected and receive a month-long training designed to make the most of their time on campus. Through this training, participants learn important social and emotional skills and develop personal portfolios, including resumes and statements of purpose, while also exploring academic and extracurricular options.


Only 5% of formerly incarcerated individuals enroll in college within two years of their release.

Vera Institute of Justice

FLEX Pickleball

Flex Pickleball is a one-of-a-kind program that offers a unique twist: it takes place outside of youth incarceration facilities, giving participants the chance to compete and play alongside community members in a healthy and supportive environment. By participating in this innovative program, youth can improve their physical fitness, sharpen their competitive edge, and build new connections with people from all walks of life.


Only 30% of juvenile correctional facilities have access to outdoor recreational areas

National Commission on Correctional Health Care

Girls Boxing

Boxing has a long history of empowering athletes and promoting positive body image and confidence. That’s why Flex has developed a unique program specifically for young women, designed to support their healthy development through the art of boxing. With non-contact games and exercises, participants learn how to build their confidence and navigate the many challenges that come with adolescence and young adulthood. 

A boxing program implemented in a juvenile detention center in California was associated with significant reductions in disciplinary incidents and aggression among participating youth.

Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology