A new, free after-school youth boxing and self-defense program at one New York City Housing Authority development is changing lives of teenagers in the neighborhood.
LeftHookNYC helps budding boxing champions learn the fundamentals of boxing at NYCHA’s Hope Gardens Community Cnter after school.
Founder and head coach Ramon Pebenito is an amateur boxer himself.
“After school programming has been slashed across the city. And it’s urgently felt in our NYCHA communities, in our Black and brown and Asian communities,” said Pebenito.
Pebenito started LeftHookNYC for kids between the ages of 10 and 15 because there’s so much untapped talent in the neighborhood, but there’s also a real need for these kids to have a safe place to go after school.
Pablo Torres ,the director of culture at Mesa charter high school in Bushwick, said once the word got out about the new program, teens couldn’t wait to sign up.
With only eight pairs of gloves, funded by community board four, vice chair Joshua Brown said there is a waiting list of teens wanting to part; the only obstacle is resources.
Pebenito hopes to expand the program across NYCHA developments city-wide. All programs are free. If you would like more information on this community program or want to give go to https://venmo.com/LeftHookNYC.