Cami Campbell now practices the piano 30 minutes a day.
Brian Halls now has a personal motto.Josh Sandoval now wakes up earlier and goes to class on time.
These three seventh-graders at Orem Junior High are among 500 students who have changed their lives and set goals to be part of a pilot program Steve Young, all-pro quarterback, founded.
The program is part of Young's Sport, Education and Values Foundation.
Improving grades or maintaining honor role status, memorizing the Olympic motto and creed, tracking a daily routine, setting goals and writing an essay are the six tasks students must complete to win the Academic Excellence Award.
Young spoke at an assembly at Orem Junior High Friday to motivate students to get involved with the program and explain why he started it.
When Young went to the Winter Olympics in Norway in 1994, he was impressed. He thought the Olympics would be a great way to teach schoolchildren.
"I love education. Athletics can be used to teach some of the basic subjects," Young said. "Football can teach a couple of subjects, but the Olympics can teach geography, culture and race."
Students who complete the six requirements receive a medallion and are eligible to earn a small scholarship to attend college at the completion of six years of excellence.
Orem Junior High students began the program April 2.
Campbell said her goal is to receive the scholarship.
"I'm going to do this program until I graduate from high school, because I can get a scholarship," she said. "It's a really cool thing to participate it."
Students are given The Olympic Student Organizer to help them achieve the award. Included within the organizer are a calendar, address book, grade tracker, assignment sheets, goal recorder, personal excellence form and daily routine chart.
The daily routine chart must be completed for 50 days out of 75.
The most difficult aspect of Campbell's daily routine was to practice the piano 30 minutes a day. She used to practice just twice a week.
"I went to piano lessons on Monday and my teacher said you have not had this good of a lesson in a long time," Campbell said. "She said, `Thank you, Steve Young.' "
Like Campbell, Sandoval said his goal is to earn the scholarship. His daily routine involves waking up at 5:30 a.m. to play basketball, do his chores, eat breakfast, get ready for school and then get to the bus stop at 7:45 a.m.
Students write their own creed, motto and goal to broaden their circle of friends as part of the personal excellence section.
Halls said the most difficult portion of the program was to find his motto. His motto is "Go past your goals, just go for it, no matter what it is, do more."
Principal Pam Hallam said the philosophy is as four-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joiner-Kersee said, "There is nothing noble in being better than another person. True nobility is being better than your previous self."
In addition to students receiving the award, they can also join the Olympic Youth Ambassadors program. Forty-five students joined. Their motto is, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger, Smarter, Better." Every student in the program is an honorary member, but student ambassadors must also attend ambassador activities and service activities, be drug, alcohol and tobacco free and forgo possession of weapons at meetings or activities.
Orem Junior High students are among students at 21 high schools and junior high schools throughout the state participating. David Barlow, executive director of the Sports, Education and Values Foundation, said 60 percent of those schools are high schools.
By fall, Barlow said the program should go nationwide and statewide. He said the program will first be marketed to Olympic bid cities, such as, Houston, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, Seattle, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla.
This fall, as well, the foundation will develop awards in four other areas: physical, personal, cultural and social.
The Olympics are a 17-day event. The SLOC will be in Utah for four years. However, in April 2002 when the SLOC is dissolved, Barlow said the the foundation will still be there to develop a legacy.
"I hope that our program is an inspiration to you, so that you can accomplish great things," Young said during the assembly. "Don't sell yourself short."