by Jim Gehman
G3, which stands for God given gifts, is dedicated to provide a level playing field for at-risk youth and to prepare them for success through programs in athletics, academics and mentorship.
“I’m basically a product of what G3 offers,” Fitzhugh said. “I didn’t really grow up very wealthy, a single mother family household. When I was a kid, I always played every single sport you can imagine and a lot of my friends were playing organized sports. At the time, not really having a lot of money, I didn’t think that was an option for me.
“And finally, I had an opportunity. I’m pretty sure it was waived, whatever fee it was for me to play football, and I started playing. The first time I ever scored a touchdown was the first time I touched a ball. It was literally the first time in my life where I was just empowered in this engine called athletics. It just gave me this identity.”
Fitzhugh founded G3 Powerhouse in 2016.
“The most important thing about what G3 Powerhouse is it’s the power of mentorship. I believe that mentorship is really just sneaking life into these kids,” Fitzhugh said. “I think when you’re a not-for-profit, you hear, ‘Ah, it’s kind of good, but it’s not-for-profit.’ I want to change that rhetoric and want it to be top-of-the-line performance-enhancing training for athletes. The tutoring is just something that’s even better. And then the icing on the cake is the mentorship. It’s really just building relationships with these kids.
“I’m extremely transparent because I just want to let these kids know I’m not some perfect guy trying to fix them. I’m really just this guy that was pretty broken that has a lot of experience and can really help you along the way. I teach these kids in small increments and consistency. If I can keep them coming along in small increments and build some momentum, that snowball effect is just going to take over.”
Operated by Fitzhugh and his wife, April, G3 Powerhouse offers after-school athletic performance enhancement in strength, speed, agility and vertical jump. There are plans for family programs.
“You can work with these kids all you want, but if you’re not really in good with the parents, not much is going to change at home,” Fitzhugh said. “Am I going to say it’s perfect? Absolutely not. But it is working hand-in-hand and being in communication with them.
“(There could be programs in) financial education; how to shop for groceries, tax returns. There’s so many ideas that if you want the family to be incorporating it, that’s a huge part of the aspect of really changing the community.
“We can change these kids when they’re in here for the couple hours that they’re in here throughout the week, but if I can reach out to the parents as well and give them resources that they’ve never had before, they’re going to be empowered. We’re just empowering everybody in that capacity.”