April 23, 2010

Boxing, Boys, and a Mentor

CBS recently profiled Sally Hazelgrove, a woman working on the south side of Chicago with gang affiliated boys. She was frustrated with seeing boys enter the gang life so she did something about it. Sally said, "I just one day decided, I'm just going to do this. I'm gonna just step out on faith and I'm gonna do this because I know I can make a difference."

Sally started Restoring the Path, a program that trains young guys in the sport of boxing. The goal of the program is to keep kids out of gangs and off the streets, so five days a week, "Miss Sally", as the boys call her, drives them from school to practice, then drops them all off at home. Through this experience, she's taught boys to take out their anger and frustrations in a positive way through boxing.

Sally claims that as a result of the experience, the boys swear less, have become more emotionally expressive, more accountable around their behavior, and that they really benefit from the discipline of daily workouts. Sally currently mentors 12 to 15 kids, but several more schools want to sign up their students. The current waiting list is over 100. Money is the big issue . . . and her goal is to do the same for hundreds more!

I think the larger message in this story is the powerful impact just one committed and motivated person can have in the lives of boys and the surrounding community. Doesn't Sally's story make you wonder what you could do?

You can learn more about Restoring the Path in the following video clip and at the restoringthepath.org website. Use this link if the video doesn't show up. Use this link if the video doesn't show up.


  1. Anonymous12:49 PM

    For another take on Ms. Hazelgrove checkout (http://www.nyse.com/pdfs/00-211.pdf). This women has a long history of being both a con artist and a thief.

  2. I was not aware of that history. Those events took place a long time ago. In my mind, it doesn't detract from the lives she's positively influencing today.

    Thanks for the research.


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