Law enforcement officers from around San Diego County, put on boxing gloves and punched heavy bags today for a special cause. The local non-profit, ABC Youth Foundation, is in the middle of their fundraiser called, “1,000,000 Punches From the Heart.”
The goal of ABC is to punch out “racism, violence and mistrust of police.”
San Diego Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman participated in today’s fundraiser.
“We’re punching out everything that divides us and what we’re doing is that we’re embracing everything that brings us together,” said Zimmerman.
For five decades, ABC Youth Foundation has been providing San Diego children with alternatives to gangs. The group offers programs including boxing, after school tutoring, and professional mentoring.
“We go into schools and we catch our kids as young as seven years old, and we teach them the fundamentals of the things to do in life, and the things not to do in life,” said ABC President Billy Moore.
One of the students in ABC is 14-year-old Malik Jones. He got into legal trouble when he was younger, and knows he was at risk of falling into a life of crime. Now he wants to grow up and work in law enforcement.
“There was a chance I could not even be right here right now, but through instructor Moore, my Uncle Billy, it helped me change to become a better person,” said Jones.
The program is also helping students like Lizzette Corrales. She lives in City Heights, and takes the bus to La Jolla High School at 6:10 am.
“I’ve been training for four years at ABC and I enjoy the rush of punching someone in the face, and hitting the bag it’s really fun,” said Corrales.
16-year-old Lizzette also likes to hit the books.
“I’m taking all honors and AP classes right now so I have a 5.0 GPA,” said Corrales.
It’s that type of success that keeps Billy Moore going.
“The things that we want them to become is a champion at life,” said Moore.