The Kids Boxing Program Making Champions Out of Underdogs

Through Olympic-style boxing, the Give a Kid a Dream program has helped more than 400 children from underserved communities find discipline, drive and vision — free of charge.

Since 2012, Coach Jackie Atkins has made it her mission to teach kids not only how to be champions in the ring, but also champions in life.

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“The words that we use — elevate, educate, empower, embrace — that’s a tremendous, positive impact to have on anyone’s life, to be able to elevate them and take them from where they are to a place of greatness,” Atkins said.

Kids at the gym learn fitness and boxing training, get homework assistance and have access to social workers and therapists. While some students come in with poor school attendance and a lack of focus, the program currently has a 100% high school graduation rate.

“They’re all champions and we treat them all the same,” Atkins said. “Whether you go to the nationals and you make it to the Olympic qualifier, you’re just as important as the child that never stepped foot in that ring.”

Learn more about the Give a Kid a Dream program in the video above. Find out more about the New Jersey boxing gym here.