Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

Volunteering is a Mitchell Family Way of Life

Andre Mitchell Jr. gives instructions to football players during drills at the Perris Valley Jr. All American Patriots Football practice session
Andre Mitchell Jr. gives instructions to football players during drills at the Perris Valley Jr. All American Patriots Football practice session.

It’s 8 a.m. on a Saturday and Andre Mitchell Jr. is working with the young football players taking part in Perris Valley Jr. All American Patriots Football games.

The Perris resident and Citrus Hill High School senior, a cornerback on the school’s football team, is teaching players 5 to 14 years old the fundamentals of tackling and blocking.

Volunteering is a way of life for Andre Jr., a football player who is drawing the interest of colleges like UCLA, Arizona State and UC Davis and recently was named as Special Teams Player of the Year in the Mountain Pass Football League.

His dad, Los Angeles police officer Andre Mitchell, has been lauded for his work with Perris youths, which include starting the Perris Patriot League and the P-Town Combat Sports Academy—both
with support from the City of Perris.

“I think it is important for people to give back to their community,”

Andre said. “I love working with the kids, teaching them the game and sportsmanship.”

Andre Mitchell, who help found the football league, with his son, Andre Jr
Andre Mitchell, who help found the football league, with his son, Andre Jr.

Andre Jr. and his dad volunteer at the P-Town Combat Sports Academy, teaching students the fundamentals of boxing and helping out with after-school homework. The sports club invites Santa Claus to its gym right around Christmas and last year gave toys and other goodies to more than 50 deserving youngsters.

“The City of Perris is a unique place,” the elder Andre Mitchell says. “It’s a small community. I believe the whole community is about volunteerism and the spirit of volunteerism.”

Andre Mitchell tracks down fugitives in his job at LAPD, a career that has taken him across country and netted 4,000 arrests over the last 22 years. Many of the young men he brings to justice reveal that they grew up with little or no positive male role models. That prompted Mitchell to find ways to channel their energy into positive outlets.

Working with the City of Perris, Andre Mitchell began a 10-year collaboration to build sports venues and bring recreational activities to the community. The partnership celebrated the opening of Patriot Park in 2008, the result of a donation of land by the City and grants and donations. Thousands of Perris youngsters and kids from throughout Riverside County have taken advantage of the complex to learn football and cheerleading skills. In 2009, the P-Town Combat Sports Academy opened.

Mitchell was named Perris Citizen of the Year in 2009. In February, he served as grand marshal of the City’s Annual Black History Month Parade. He also has been nominated for Officer of the Year in the LAPD thanks to his work with youth in Perris.

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers has worked for years with Mitchell and the P-Town academy. She calls the family outstanding members of the Perris community.

“The whole family is very entrenched in the community,” Rogers said. “When they see a need, they jump in to fill it.”
Mitchell said he is grateful for the City of Perris and its dedicated and long-lasting support.

“We would not be here without the City’s backing,” Mitchell said. “They believe in our kids.”

And he’s proud of his son as well. The younger Mitchell aspires to study filmmaking and communications in college.

“He’s done everything I’ve asked of him—academically and giving back to the community,” Mitchell said. “What more can I ask?”