Saving Syracuse one jab at a time
A gym on Syracuse's Southside is helping kids turn their lives around. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, the founder's goal is to give its user more than a good workout.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Abdi Kadir wasn't always the best student, but before he went down the wrong path he landed at Faith and Hope Community Center.
"I used to have a lot of problems at school, fighting with kids, but since I started coming to this gym I think right now my life is going ok," said Kadir.
Now the 17-year-old has aspirations of becoming a great boxer. That's the hope that former golden gloves champion Eddie Beauford has for many of these young guys.
"My brothers, we founded and tried to put something back in the neighborhood to stop all the harassing and the killing in between out own people," said Beauford.
Solving differences that way has saved a couple of lives over the years.
"Someone brought a couple of kids down here that were fighting each other and had actually pulled out knives on each other, so they brought them down here, they put the gloves on and got in the ring. They went at it, knocked each other down for a couple of rounds. When they got up when it was over with they shook hands," said trainer James Jackson.
It has also marked the community center as a place where turf battles are far from mind.
"It brings the whole communities together, east, west, south, north. No fighting. We all come here as a family and work," said Jason Torres.
But while the Faith and Hope Community Center is helping the community, it needs a little help too. Workers volunteer time and only adults who use the fitness center downstairs are charged just $10 a month.
"We would like to keep this place open and keep it going because this is my way of giving back to the community," said Jackson.
The center's staff hope to continue changing lives and hopefully the climate of violence in the city one jab at a time.
The Faith and Hope Community Center also has an after school center.