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Champ Camp empowers Indy teens, provides mentorship through boxing

Posted at 7:32 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 07:35:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Every weekend, there is a chance for Indianapolis youth to feel empowered while learning skills that can be applied to real life.

It all happens at Triumph Boxing Gym and Martial Artsin Indianapolis.

“We are here for everyone, making sure we are getting on the path to healing from our trauma,” said Kristin Collins, the co-founder and executive director of We Bring Hope Network.

It’s all through a program called Champ Camp.

“I would describe it as a place where they are safe from everything that’s happening on the outside,” said DuBois Johnson, head boxing coach, Triumph Boxing Gym and martial arts.

“Champ camp” Empowering Indy Youth
“Champ camp” Empowering Indy Youth

For three hours every Saturday, teens from all over Indianapolis get to put everything that is going on in their personal life behind them and learn how to box.

“All the struggles during the week, I can just kinda let them out,” Nicholas Jones said.

Jones is a senior at Lawrence North who has with Champ Camp since it opened back in September.

“Just situations that I needed to get myself away from, boxing teaches you how to get away from, and boxing teaches you to keep your cool. But if something does arise, you know how to handle it,” Jones said.

Champ Camp provides teens likes Jones a chance to learn how to defend themselves and provides mentorship — something that Jones is thankful for.

“It kind calms you down and you are not thinking about too much, just saying those affirmations,” Jones said.

It's a team effort to put Champ Camp together. The program gets help from Volunteers with We Bring Hope Network and the Exit Program — two Indianapolis nonprofits who bring teens who have faced adversity together so they can box and grow together.

“There are so many kids out there that are looking for the opportunity to be apart of something that is bigger than them, said Leana Caraballo, CEO and co-founder of the Exit Program said.

For Jones and all the teens who step into the ring, they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

“Trust yourself no matter what,” Jones said.

Champ camp runs every Saturday from 3-6 p.m. If you are interested in signing up, click here.