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About Us

About Us

We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the spiritual, social, and professional development of young men. The Institutes initiatives and services offers hope, restoration, and a roadmap forward.

Through our initiatives and services, youth gain renewed inner strength to approach life’s challenges, rediscover doors of opportunity to pursue personal and professional goals, and find meaning in their own lives resulting in a desire to serve others.

We hold their hand for a season, while teaching and developing them to step out into the real world and chase their dreams. 



Champion Institute was born of the vision of Shawn Zanders, spawned in the aftermath of an unthinkable tragedy. In 2001, three close family members who were brothers were brutally gunned down in the streets by a young man who was only nineteen years of age with no definite direction. This act devastated two families and profoundly touched countless others in the community. Armed with the belief that no young person should be abandoned or left to become callous and cold, Shawn acted. He articulated a vision to address the unmet needs of fatherless young boys, reaching out across the community to help them find a path of hope, healing, and victory. 


Shawn has devoted nearly two decades of service to meet the needs of fatherless young men whose lives have been ravaged by abuse, neglect, violence, and homelessness. Shawn began his career in youth residential environments, witnessing the hurt, lack, and emotional trauma of young boys. Overseeing case management roles and ultimately managing youth programs, he continued increasing his understanding of these young boys and the scarcity of resources available to this unmet need. Through his consonant efforts, Shawn established Champion Institute, inspiring young men to discover their talents, revive their dreams, and reach their God-given potential. 


Shawn's extensive work with fatherless young men has led him to the development of the Institute's cutting-edge model, Restorative Identity Development. This framework helps fatherless youth tap their strengths, discover skills, and unlock their internal capacities to write a new narrative about their future and reach their goals. 

Under Shawn's leadership, Champion Institute for Youth Development proudly serves fatherless youth across the Greater Houston and Fort Bend communities, helping these youth beat the odds and overcome the wounds that fatherlessness often leaves.

About Us
Our History



Champion Institute exists to inspire, coach, and disciple youth to win at life.



We envision a world in which young men beat the odds and win at life by reaching their God-given potential.

Our Mission

We believe in the potential of each youth we serve and aspire to give them the guidance and hope for their future that is so often lost to life's circumstances.  We hold their hand for a season, while teaching and developing them to step out into the real world and chase their dreams. Champion Institute exists to steadfastly develop those who have no one to believe in their promise.


Champion Institute Helps

Through our initiatives and restorative framework,

  • Our youth gain renewed inner strength to approach life’s challenges, and rediscover doors of opportunity

  • Our youth are encircled by a supportive group of people who believe in them and know they can grow.  

  • Our youth identify their talents and use them to chart a new life course.

  • Our nurturing environment calls fourth potential and builds champions.

What Makes

Us Different

What Makes Us Different
How Champion Institute Helps

Cheer for

A Champion

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