Established in 1991, Gleason’s Gym “Give a Kid a Dream” has worked to provide 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 them improve themselves both mentally and physically. Participation in tutoring sessions is part of every training session and is required.
In addition to the gym being available daily, participants are required to show up on the designated training day 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 speedball, moving drills, jumping rope, and 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.
Since 1991, Give A Kid A Dream has provided children from disadvantaged backgrounds a place to come and develop themselves both physically and mentally through the sport of boxing. It gives kids something to hold onto and work towards in tough times. Something to motivate.
Life is full of ups and downs, you just hope in the end the balance weighs heavier on the upside. Give A Kid A Dream facilitates that by instilling the confidence and discipline necessary to help teens deal with adversity and ultimately tip that scale in their favor.