All posts by taylorgoebel2017

New kids on The Bloc: How one boxing coach is breaking down Chicago’s barriers

By Taylor Goebel

Jamyle Cannon and his young boxing students don’t play by the idea of keeping busy to stay alive.

“I have no interest in giving our kids busy work to keep them safe,” Cannon said. “What I want to do is give them opportunities.”

North Lawndale – where Cannon started the DRW Boxing Club and now, a new non-profit called The Bloc – is the kind of place where kids know the difference between fireworks and gunshots. It is home to families that have faced generation after generation of violence, a lack of resources, and little chance at upward mobility. Cannon helped found DRW College Prep, a charter school the Daily Beast named the 4th most change-making high school in the U.S.

“When you have an area of entrenched poverty, where you have an area where you don’t see a lot of people making it, you sort of assume that’s your plight too,” Cannon said.

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