The Jets were founded by Harlem native Jamel Wright, spearheading a core group of fathers with 9-year-olds who were looking for a better-organized tackle football experience than what was available. Wright, known as "Coach Mel," and his wife Twinique lead a team of about 35 volunteers most, but not all, parents. Since its founding in 2005, they've built the Jets into a significant community organization and national powerhouse, expended their offerings to include not only off-season conditioning but wrestling, basketball and competitive cheerleading.
Harlem Jets, Inc. is a non-profit after-school organization that uses academic enrichment programs, tackle football, cheerleading, basketball and wrestling as a way to keep youth ages 5-18 academically motivated and physically fit. In addition to that core focus, the Jets provide mentoring services, life-skills enrichment and prep/private school placement advice and counseling.
Since its founding, the Jets have served almost 3,000 kids and are currently serving more than 300 children in New York City.