RECLAIMING FUTURES – ANOTHER EFFECTIVE PROGRAM TO KEEP TEENS OUT OF TROUBLE
Fighting The Odds: Boxing/MMA Programs Keep Teens Off The Streets, ...
The Winston-Salem Chronicle, Layla Garms, 08/08/2013
Nineteen year-old George Dominguez used to spend his free time on the streets, and has had more than a few brushes with local law enforcement as a result. “I used to get in too much trouble,” he confessed. “I used to always be chased by police for doing bad things.” This summer, Dominguez, a rising senior at Parkland, has found another way to spend his time. He’s one of several teens who are serving as junior counselors at David Villada’s Beating Up Bad Habits boxing camp.
- The camp, which Villada founded two years ago, has two purposes: to get kids off the streets and out of harm’s way and to teach them a positive outlet for the negative emotions they may feel.
- Many of the youth in the camp have a parent who has been deported or incarcerated, and some have been involved with the legal system themselves. A handful of Villada’s clients are mandated by Forsyth County’s Reclaiming Futures Juvenile Drug Court to attend the program daily.
- Fifteen year-old William Toribio was referred to the program by the drug court, and mandated to stay in it until he can test negative for marijuana use.
- Toribio, one of four children, said the program is helping him to kick some of his negative habits.
- Boxing has served as a positive emotional outlet for him as well, Toribio said.
- “Sometimes when I get mad, I prefer to come to the gym and take all my anger out through boxing,” Toribio said, noting that at one time, his frustrations would’ve been played out in street fights. “I’ve been in and out of detention. I’m trying to go in a different direction now.”
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