Heisman Winner Brown helps build Michiana education program - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Heisman Winner Tim Brown helps build successful Michiana education program

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Ask almost anyone in Michiana about Tim Brown and they'll probably tell you about his glory days at Notre Dame when he won the Heisman Trophy.

However, there are plenty of kids in the area now who know Brown more for his work off the field.

"Five Star is a program that's helped a lot of other people, especially me," said Five Star Life Student Jacob Hasbrook.

Riley Freshman Jacob Hasbrook says when he joined his school's Five Star Life Program back in sixth grade he was skeptical. Now three years later he says he's turned into a way more confident guy and he's seen his friends in the program become better people too.

"I try to help people the best I can," said Hasbrook. "I don't lie, I don't make fun of people, all that bullying stuff. I truly do what I can to make everyone's life happier."

Jacob isn't the only kid who's climbed to new heights in the program. Over 2000 kids from all walks of life in Michiana were a part of the program this past school year. 78 percent of the group raised or maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Five Star Life COO Seth Maust says the key to the program's success is to reach kids before they get to high school.

"If you can get to them in middle school before they're so far behind or so checked out of school you can make a huge preventive difference," said Maust.

The program takes place after school at Junior High School's all over Michiana. Each week the kids learn new lessons based around the five star principles: courage, respect, integrity, sacrifice, and responsibility.

"They'll teach us a core value and then they'll give us a challenge and we turn it into our coaches," said Five Star Life Student Peyton Tessley. "Throughout it we have fun."

Maust says the program keeps getting bigger and bigger.  Once he got Notre Dame Heisman Winner Tim Brown on board the charity took off.  Brown says he's happy with the growth so far, but he says this is just the beginning.

"Michiana is great. I love what we're doing here," said Brown. "But I'm looking forward to coming down to Texas and hopefully around the country as we move on."

There are over 400 Michiana students on the waiting list to get into the program. Five Star Life is trying to recruit more volunteers to assist those kids. Monday, they got some nice donations through a golf outing at Morris Park Country Club in South Bend.

Brown and fellow Heisman Winner Tony Dorsett were there to help the program raise money. Next year Brown hopes to bring more of his football friends along to help a program he believes molds young people into future leaders.

"I tell people I became a man [in South Bend]," said Brown. "It all started for me up here, so to be able to come back in this capacity is something that makes me feel good."

Dorsett says when Brown asked him to tag-a-long it was an easy choice.

"Five Star is touching young people's lives and I have a very soft heart when it comes to helping out tomorrow's leaders," said Dorsett.

Those who are interested in donating to Five Star Life or becoming a volunteer can check out http://www.FiveStarLife.org. A list of participating middle schools can also be found on the website.

Brown says he's also getting excited for this coming Notre Dame season.

"You know I'm expecting these guys to come out and play great football this year. Obviously losing a guy like Everett Golson is a big set back, but I think Tommy Rees is a guy who's played and played at a very high level. He's not a young kid, so he should be able to come in and do what he's capable of doing," said Brown. "Defensively I hear we're going to be more athletic and so I'm looking forward to these guys coming out and playing great football. There's no excuses at this point, so I'm looking forward to watching what they do."

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