LA County Sheriff's Youth Boxing: Training for an ordinary life

One look at these kids and you know they want more out of ordinary life. They are kids who want to stay out of trouble. Every day after school, they train for hours at the LA County Sheriffs Youth Activities League at the Century station in South LA.

Sgt. Veronica De La Rosa is the program's coordinator. She says, "This has helped the kids with self esteem, with them coming out of their shell and with them growing within the sport."

Kids like 13 year old Priscilla Medina. She tells me she wants to go far in life because she knows she can do it. Priscilla is a good boxer and she would rather spend her time training than hanging out with friends in the neighborhood. I asked her what she doesn't like in neighborhood.

She said, "Violence, shootings, people doing drugs, I don't like that." Deputy Carlos De La Torre says, "This is probably one of the most dangerous areas in Southern California. We are right next to Watts, we're in the middle of South Central. I guarantee you 100% if these kids weren't here, from 3pm to 8 pm, they would be out in the streets running amok."

The kids agree. I asked them what they would be doing if they weren't at the gym. I got this response, "Gang banging, who knows where. Jail…wasting my life go by."

The boxing program is for kids between the ages of 8 to 17. To qualify, kids must have good grades.

The program has several success stories like Karla Herrera. She got involved with the boxing program as a teen and won several awards including two USA Jr. Olympic National titles. Now, she's back mentoring other kids. Herrera says, "It kept me off the streets. It kept me in a good path, it kept me working hard."

Now, this program which has transformed the lives of thousands of kids is in need of a little help. Volunteers, equipment and donations are needed.

If you can help, please contact LA County Sheriff's Department Century Station at 323-586-6691.

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