Established in 1991, Gleason’s Gym “Give a Kid a Dream” has worked to provided mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing. Currently the program is supported by Gleason’s itself and the efforts of individual personal trainers who volunteer their time or substantially discount their rates in order to help the children. With an average referral retention rate of 75%, it's clear the program is working.
Participants are referred to the program primarily through the courts, churches, or schools. On occasion, Gleason’s allows parents to directly approach the gym to request that their child enter the program.
Once accepted, Gleason’s provides the participants with a membership to the gym along with basic equipment for them to start training. Gleason’s also selects a professional trainer for the participant to work with to help the them improve themselves both mentally and physically. Participation in tutoring sessions is part of every training Saturday and is required
In addition to the gym being available daily, participants are required to show up on Saturday to work with their boxing trainer in order to stay in the program. During this two-hour session they undergo training that closely mirrors the training that professional boxers undergo on a full-time basis. This training includes, but is not limited to;
Shadow boxing, Sit-ups, Rounds on the punching bags, Hand-eye coordination exercises with a speed ball, Moving drills, Jump roping, Controlled sparring against peers in the program
(note: sparring is an optional exercise and not required for participation in the program.)
Success in the program is not measured by how well participants learn to box but rather by how well they develop themselves mentally and use their newly acquired discipline to redirect the course of their lives in a positive way. Successful participants are the ones that find new confidence in themselves. Ultimately, personal development is the name of the game and also the type of success that Gleason’s is most proud of recognizing because it's what leads the child to success in life.Millions of people suffer and die every year because they don’t have the most basic necessity freely available to them. Help us change that.