North Lawndale Boxing League

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Derek Brown and Robin Hood

Coach Derek Brown and Reverend Robin Hood, photo courtesy Fritz Ofner

Boxing Out Negativity is boxing/mentoring program that strives to make youth ready for the real world. Directors: Derek Brown and Rev. Robin Hood. We are a non-profit organization.

We enroll youth ages 8 to 16. Enrollment is free, but students have to “pay” in completing their school required homework, obeying the coach, and general positivity. Currently, we barely have the resources to serve around 17 to 20 students. General program costs range from five to ten thousand dollars a year with the current number of students we serve: cost of equipment, transportation, food, and school supplies. We generally receive around 800 dollars a year in donations and are looking to expand the program. The current waiting list is around 70 students. The rest of our current funding comes from the personal salary of coach Derek Brown. Currently he spends around twenty percent of his salary to keep the program afloat.

Current format of the program: Coach Derek holds several boxing lessons, usually twice or three times, during the week year-round. During the school year, he holds the classes at William Penn Elementary school and during the summer, he runs the program out of his garage. Lessons last around one to one and a half hours. After the boxing lesson, Coach Derek sits with the students in a circle and leads motivational discussions where students can vent their frustrations and brainstorm productive solutions to everyday problems. Other times, the half hour after lessons is dedicated to finishing homework.

Coach Derek’s dream is to open a boxing/recreation gym where many more students could be served. It would provide a safe haven for youth in Chicago and build positivity in all aspects of life.

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