The History

Snap Shots..



“I loved playing in the NFL. But, kids need to understand that there is life after football.” 

   --John Swain

"There is a ton of pressure on kids today.  There is more violence.  There are more gangs.  There are more drugs.  Families aren't together.  You've got no fathers in these teenagers' lives.  These kids need to understand that life is bigger than the tunnel vision they are looking through."       

  -- John Swain

About the Founder

John Swain is the founder and executive director of The Next Level Foundation, an organization dedicated to uplifting youth throughout the country.   All of his diverse responsibilities reflect a long-term commitment to kids

Born and raised in Opa Locka, Florida,  Swain gained a strong work ethic at an early age.  He received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Miami and graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Sociology.  Immediately upon graduation, Swain was drafted to the Minnesota Vikings where he played for four years.  Swain also played two seasons with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins.

Currently, as the Head football coach at Henry High School in North Minneapolis, Swain is helping his players reach The Next Level by developing  the characteristics they need to succeed in football and in life.  The Next Level Foundation, which he began in April of 2009 started in Minnesota. 

Two years later it expanded to Texas with his daughter, Natalie Swain, serving as Regional President.  The Foundation seeks to point 7th through 12th graders to success by focusing on education, athletics, conflict resolution, self-esteem and controlled theory, a philosophy that teaches individuals—rather than external forces—are responsible for their own actions. 

Since the foundations inception in 2009, it has distributed college scholarships, hosted 5k runs and sponsored "two-day" camps where participants enjoy not only intense football drills but also numerous motivational workshops. 

Swain is delighted that The Next Level Foundation in Minnesota is now registered in Texas.  The Next Level Foundation is an IRS sanctioned 501(c)3 non-profit, tax exempt public organization.