During troubling times, parents turn to after school programs to keep at-risk teens safe.
City Boxing gym owner Mark Dion knows the importance of after school programs and has opened up his downtown gym doors to at-risk teens in the area.
"The idea is to take these teens off the streets from 3-o-clock to 6-o-clock when stuff happens and put them in a safe place," said Dion.
Dion's pilot program works in conjunction with the 180 Degree Program curriculum to help teens enhance their lives. Teens learn to analyze their character through life lessons and achieve their goals. Dion's pilot program offers a unique and fun way for teens to become physically and mentally disciplined.
So far, Dion's program includes 30 teens from Garfield High School, Father Joe's, and probation referrals from the local police department.
"I want to help these kids get a fair shot in this tough world," said Dion.
Dion currently works with parents, guardians and the school system to track the group's school attendance, grades, and successes as they participate in the 4-month program. The group participates in boxing and kickboxing Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m..
Click here for more on the non-profit program 180 Degree.