Sunday, January 04, 2015

"Level Ground" campaign to help underprivileged kids in Boston

Alexandra Fuller in Boston is the founder and Executive Director of Level Ground Mixed Martial Arts.  She teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai to empower urban youth in Boston. 

In her words, "Our youth live in the neighborhoods of Boston that experience the highest levels of poverty, violence, and disparities in health and education.  Through these sports, we create an awesome community for kids and young adults, getting them off the streets and into the gym!"

Level Ground is running a "15 in 15" Indiegogo campaign, and they're just about $4000 short of raising $15k in 2015 for a number of projects, including professional development and mentorship, college readiness through tutoring and case management, youth employment, and monthly competition opportunities. Level Ground MMA is a fiscally-sponsored organization by the Black Ministerial Alliance.  All donations are tax deductible, and donors will receive a tax-receipt upon request.

The $15,000 will be distributed as follows-

1) Provide quality college readiness programming to 50 youth ($2,000)
2) Link 20 youth to professional mentors ($1,500)
3) Offer in-house employment to 2 additional youth ($7,500)
4) Expand athletic training to 120 youth ($2,000)
5) Sponsor a traveling team of 15 youth to compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on a monthly basis ($2,000)

In memory of Tyler Keene, a friend and BJJ purple belt, Level Ground will open the 'Tyler Keene Athletic and Academic Training Center' in the Winter of 2015.  Funds in excess of $15,000 will go towards this studio.

This studio will provide the following opportunities for youth:
  • BJJ and MMA training.
  • Professional mentorship from employers in the community.
  • Daily academic and career support, with access to our community college, 4-year university, trade school, and workforce development network.
  • Daily training in life skills, with an emphasis on nutrition and food preparation, physical and mental health and wellness.
It will also host community classes for adults to broaden their impact in Boston's urban neighborhoods.  Adults will have access to premier training in MMA and healthy living at a discounted rate.
Since being founded only 15 months ago, Level Ground has:

    Expanded to 4 sites, representing over 100 youth served on a weekly basis
    Directly linked 100% of graduating high school students with the opportunity to earn a college degree at Northeastern University
    Extended in-house employment opportunities to 5 youth through our Program “Assistantship” where they receive experience in management and leadership
    Formed an active, traveling competition team which has earned over 50 medals at 9 nationally-ranked grappling competitions
    Launched a professional mentorship program where youth are individually paired with a positive adult role model to receive additional professional development opportunities

If this sounds like something you could get behind, please, give generously here. 

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