Hunters invest in Detroit youth through charity

Fund Heart of a Champion program for 7,500 students

Hunters invest in Detroit youth through charity

DETROIT -- Torii Hunter and his wife, Katrina, were part of a ceremony at Fisher Magnet Upper Academy in Detroit on Tuesday to launch the Heart of a Champion program, an educational and character-building curriculum that has reduced dropout rates and increased student performance.

The Hunter family, through the Torii Hunter Project, is funding the program for approximately 7,500 students across 39 Detroit schools.

"We are excited to bring a program to Detroit that has been proven to directly produce positive change in the lives of students," Torii Hunter said. "Katrina and I are thankful for the opportunity to partner with Detroit Public Schools to make a difference in the lives of kids in our city."

Said Katrina Hunter: "We have had such a great experience in the two years we have been here and have developed a love for the people of Detroit. We can think of no better investment to make than in the youth of this city."

The Heart of a Champion program comes from a nonprofit foundation based in Dallas, Hunter's home during the offseason. The program, adopted in 26 states over the last 15 years, integrates critical thinking and decision-making exercises to emphasize positive character traits and emotional intelligence.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.