A Message from Our Founder...
In response to the viral video of young man assaulting elderly patient
Perhaps you saw it. Or heard about it. The video of a young man assaulting an elderly assisted living patient. It went viral and viewers understandably were angry and wanted to assign blame. Imagine our shock, when we learned the blame was directed at Norwayne Boxing Gym. A youth development program that takes at-risk kids and transforms them through athletics, academics, community service and leadership.
Many, including members of the media, leapt to the conclusion that the young man was a member of our gym, which was not true. Although he had visited boxing gyms, including ours, a handful of times, he was neither a member of our youth development program nor a member of our competitive boxing team.
The troubling video, however, made us think, what if this young man had been a part of our program? What if he would have stuck with us? Could we have helped him? How many incidents have been avoided because of our program, and the strides our kids make toward respectful, productive adult lives? It made us realize programs like ours are needed more than ever. Here’s why.
Norwayne Boxing Gym isn’t a normal boxing gym. First, we are a non-profit and participation is sponsored by generous donors who care about their community. Second, the program is a multi-faceted, no-nonsense approach that meets our kids where they are, in their lives today, and helps them visualize where they want to be tomorrow. They make their dreams real by learning life-lessons around the sport of amateur boxing and by discovering who they are. Through it all, they develop and leverage new-found success traits including self-confidence, discipline, motivation and perseverance.
Norwayne Boxing Gym is more than athletics. We focus on our kids’ academic pursuits by offering a formalized tutoring program, mentoring program, and computer lab to enhance their skill sets. We also mandate that all of our kids participate in regular community service projects, so they form a habit of giving back. By serving others, kids learn respect for all people and themselves.
Finally, we also address kids’ “real life issues” as they happen. Pressures exist, so through ad hoc counseling sessions, food and financial assistance, job placement, scholarships, and career counseling, Norwayne Boxing Gym is there. Our kids learn people do believe in them, and that their circumstances don’t define them or limit their potential.
Over the last six years we’ve helped kids, who only knew how to get into trouble, straighten up and get on an upward life trajectory. We have had kids with failing GPAs become A-students, while others gain employment and continue to give back to the community. And we have also turned out excellent athletes, boxers who have won accolades including the Jr. Olympics, Silver Gloves, the National Golden Gloves and one of our kids has even been invited to train with the U.S. Olympic team in Colorado!
The recent assault video that went viral is deplorable and we express continued concern for the victim. We also express regret for the young man whose future may have been different if he had come to our gym and enrolled in our program. Cases such as this only embolden our resolve to continue our mission. Because without our program, more at-risk kids will certainly find negative influences and plummet into the pitfalls of life on the streets. Help us turn dreams into realities at Norwayne Boxing Gym. Sponsor our youth development program. You’ll truly save lives.