About H.O.P.E Fitness Academy

H.O.P.E. (Higher Our Potential Everyday) Fitness Academy was founded in 2009 to give back to the inner city of Columbus by focusing our efforts on the at-risk male youth. H.O.P.E’s mission is to encourage them to reach their potential by providing them with the most effective health/fitness training, mentorships, and tutoring programs.  Our focus is to enhance the total person: mind, body and spirit in a diverse and uplifting environment. H.O.P.E. provides a brotherhood of support for the participants. The mentors check their grades, provide community resources when needed and require community service activities. It is important to H.O.P.E. that the boys are striving for excellence on and off the field.

Since 2009, H.O.P.E. has expanded to boys of all backgrounds. We are located on the west side of Columbus in the Hilltop community. The price packages vary dependent on the number of sessions desired. In H.O.P.E., boys of all different skill levels train together, increasing their drive to improve, experience healthy competition and gain knowledge on technique and form.  

The founder of H.O.P.E. Fitness, Derick Alexander, is no stranger to hard work and perseverance. He has the skillset and knowledge to take these young athletes to the next level in sports and life. He was a preseason and  2-time All-American in football during his college years and played professional football in Italy from 2010 to 2012.

In 2014, he founded Skill Development University (SDU), which is fundamental football training. This program focuses on perfecting the skills needed for the different positions on the field as well as structured competition against other top athletes in the city. SDU offers seasonal football camps for ages 5-18 years old, coached by former professional and collegiate players. Each camp is organized and ran similar to a collegiate style of practice giving the athletes better structure and discipline. We also offer combine prep classes to get the athletes ready for the college camp testing. Some drills include: forty yard dash, vertical jump, pro agility shuttle, broad jump and L cone drill.

Derick’s success is apparent in the statistics of the kids he has trained through H.O.P.E. and S.D.U. Some of the accolades include:


  • 40- Division 1 College offers
  • 11 of the “Super 25 Players of the Week”
  • 17 All-State High School football players
  • 7 current HopeFitness graduates playing at collegiate level     
  • Decreasing 40-yard  times by 2-3 tenth of a second
  • *Noteworthy HopeFit graduates: Roosevelt Knicks, Malik Harrison


*Recruiting relationships include:  Ohio University, Miami of Ohio, University of Toledo, Capital University, Ohio Dominican University, Western Illinois University, Youngstown State University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University

H.O.P.E. Fitness Academy believes that a strong community can only be attained when we invest in our youth. For the bible tells us “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6