Nonprofit launches ‘Bright Futures’ boxing program

[adrotate banner="54"]

By Ariyana Griffin

Contributing Writer

WATTS — A newly founded nonprofit organization serving youth in the Nickerson Gardens public housing community and surrounding areas is focused on providing resources and programs to help the youth excel in a positive manner. 

With a slogan “Bright Futures for Watts,” Watts Community Core is aiming to equip local youth with after-school programs in science, the arts, education and recreation using a holistic approach. To help propel that mission, the organization hosted a grand opening for its boxing gym on June 10 allowing youth and adults to enroll in the program. 

Kevin Hunt, the co-founder and chief financial officer of Watts Community Core, is excited to bring the program to the neighborhood. In an area often known for gang violence, Hunt sought to change the landscape to meet the needs of the community and instill hope into the local community starting with the youth.  

Understanding there was a need for mentorship, healthy ways to express emotion and learn safety, the boxing gym was born. Hunt explained that the program will not only help participants get healthy and learn discipline, but it can also help with better decision making in the future. 

“The art of boxing teaches hand-eye coordination,” Hunt said. “It also teaches [kids] how to control emotions. Some people act off impulse. It teaches you self-discipline and helps you hone those natural instincts to do things that you normally wouldn’t do.” 

A native of Nickerson Gardens, Hunt said that he wished a program such as this one was around when he was growing up. Watts Community Core provides a safe space for the youth to practice and learn different skills that can change the course of their lives, he added. 

Talking the benefits of boxing.

“We use boxing as a mentoring tool to help these kids,” he said.

As more youth are engaged in the boxing program, more benefits are expected in how they react to stressful situations in the community and schools. 

“They might have anger issues in school,” Hunt said. “We teach them how to redirect that anger. Through boxing they open up a lot, but they may not know how to re-channel it.” 

The boxing gym will be open for both youth and adults. Hunt says participants can join to get fit or to eventually compete. 

“We give them fundamentals, then if they want to advance as far as making it a career path, we have that option,” he said. “We can go out to different gyms, introduce them, get them registered and set up for spar matches. And if they want to continue, we support them going to the Olympics or possibly going amateur. That support system is there.

“Any activity that the kids get where they can go outside, exercise, and have a focused place to get their frustration out is a good thing,” said Aoikish Moore, a Watts native whovolunteers with the program. “You never know what skills might come out of that. Boxing is not all about hitting, it’s about discipline, focus and training.” 

Sammisha Williams, a parent of a student involved with the Watts Community Core, said her daughter has excelled since working with the organization. 

“They help her with her reading and with her schoolwork, they help her a lot,” she said. 

She explained that her daughter loves the program and can’t wait to enroll in the boxing program. “She likes to box, so I would like to put her in it,” she said. 

To enroll in the program, call (310) 404-9860, email or stop by the physical location at 1541 E 112th St. 

[adrotate banner="53"]

Must Read

[adrotate banner="55"]