"Be the positive change the world needs," said Elston Forte to a group of students. "The time is now."
Those motivating words come from someone who once walked in their shoes at Mills High.
The former safety and linebacker at Arkansas is passing on life lessons he learned on the field.
"Especially your character and work ethic," said Forte. "That mentality that you're going to make progress no matter what."
Forte's non-profit, the Y.I.AM Project, leads various programs everyday after school. What started with just 5 students last fall, now reaches 85 kids. He calls it "Academic Athletics."
"It's a competition to become self motivated to make them want to make a positive change, not only in their school, but in their society," he said.
As Forte mentors and encourages students, they're getting more than just help with homework. Forte is also serving as a role model as someone living out their passion with complete dedication.
"He's here everyday," said student Marchelle Williams. "He's really dedicated. He lets us know he's doing what he loves."
"He's doing something he loves to do," said student VanKe'via Garner. "So I want to do something I love to do also."
Y.I.AM stands for Young Intellectual Active Minds. The after-school programs appear to be working. The students we met all told us their grades have gone up since taking part.