Meet Dan. Father, fitness coach, Patriot’s fan, rap lover, reader, and ex-convict. He works at InnerCity Weightlifting, a non-profit organization which employs ex-convicts to help train clients at a gym.
Here’s a blurb from the InnerCity Weightlifting website:
InnerCity Weightlifting reduces youth violence by connecting proven-risk young people with new networks and opportunities, including meaningful career tracks in and beyond personal fitness. We use the gym to replace segregation and isolation with economic mobility and social inclusion, disrupting the system that leads to urban street violence.
In Boston, 1% of youth are responsible for 50% of gun violence and homicides. Within that 1% there are approximately 400 young people who have been identified as high impact players, young people most likely to shoot or get shot.
These are the young people we work with. Most of our students come from Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. Most have been shot. All, except for a couple, have done significant jail time and come from family incomes of less than $10K per year. Our students are at the highest-risk; we screen out those who are not. By reaching a relatively small number of people, we can have incredible impact in reducing violence and homicides.
I found them out of sheer happenstance. I was reading a Whole Foods newsletter and one of the managers trains at the gym in Dorchester so there was a whole article on it. To give myself more of an incentive to get into weightlifting I gave it a try. It was AWESOME. They have such a cool atmosphere, the trainers are outstanding and are supported by certified coaches. The one I go to is in Kendall Square. Individual sessions cost $25 (You really can’t beat that for individualized attention) and you can buy packages that include a coaching tune up. They also do corporate visits.
They use very bare bones workouts (no fancy machines) which I like. I stopped going for a while to pay off my student debt and because I lived far away. Now I’m close by again and going once a week. That’s my other trainer, Angel, who I will be with while Dan stays around Dorchester.
I love making a lot of money so I can support causes like this. It’s great that I can manage my money and spend it on things that bring real value to myself and the community. I love being proactive about changing our society instead of being like a majority of people and complaining about it.
I started right when they opened their Kendall Square location and I am excited to see them expand and grow again (more centers are in the works).
Please consider donating/checking them out!