Grantee Spotlight: New, Police-Run Boxing Program Helps At-Risk Youth Escape Gang Involvement

Grantee Spotlight: New, Police-Run Boxing Program Helps At-Risk Youth Escape Gang Involvement

A new Code 3-supported program is bringing at-risk youth from Southeast DC and Prince George’s County to Westminster, MD where they are learning life skills alongside police through recreational boxing. Founded by Ron Pisano, a U.S. Park Police Sargent, “Boxing for Life” has become a safe zone for 10 at-risk youth. Ron personally transports participants from high-crime communities to Westminster, MD to get them away from negative influences.

When interviewed, two participating youth from Southeast DC said they never thought they could trust a police officer, but their time spent in the program has given them a new outlook on life and kept them out of trouble. Another participant felt empowered to resist joining the MS-13 gang in his neighborhood as a result of the confidence he gained through participating in the program. Efforts such as these are making a difference in young lives and fostering trust and mutual respect among police and the communities they serve.

“If my brother and me were hanging out in the neighborhood we would probably be hustling. Never thought I could trust a policeman, but Ron has changed all that.”

— Program participant