InnerCity Weightlifting Honored With Ad Club’s Rosoff Award
By Michael Chmura | May 20, 2015
According to the Ad Club, “Established by Babson College MBA graduate Jon Feinman, InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW) works with young people at the highest-risk for violence, aiming to reduce youth violence by getting students off the streets and into the gym. At ICW, these students are empowered with the positive support and community needed to say “no” to violence and “yes” to opportunity.
Most of our students have been shot, and nearly all have done significant jail time. The lifestyle that leads to those outcomes is often the best short-term solution for the challenges faced by these students. While at times bad decisions are made, these decisions are based on the logic of their circumstances..
The gym is where our students come to find hope, to build trust with positive adults, and to belong. It’s a positive logical alternative to the streets. For some, the gym becomes a career in personal training and for others, it’s the start of a new network. They meet our staff, partner organizations, and training clients, which creates job and academic opportunities outside of the gym.
At the heart of our program is our in-house career track in personal training, where our students become certified personal trainers, creating both economic mobility and social inclusion. Our personal training clients are a critical piece of the network that forms in the gym. As more personal training clients, coming from opposite socio-economic backgrounds, come to our gym and pay our students for training, a wide-scale systematic change begins to happen. Through training, our students get to meet new people and see the world in new ways.
Since ICW launched in 2010, we have helped impact the lives of more than 300 youth at the highest risk for violence. In the last 2 years we have gone from an organization borrowing space to having our own training facility. We have helped 23 of our students start their own personal training practice and began training in corporations like Microsoft, Babson College, Fiksu, and The Boston Foundation. In these organizations our students run group training sessions for employees, under the guidance of one of our coaches. In the words of one of our students, (we) “believed in (them) when no one else would.”
Today we have 156 enrolled students, and more than 270 personal training clients. Of our most committed students, there is a 78% reduction in violent crime, more than 70% of students spend a record amount of time out of jail, and more than 90% report an increased sense of hope for the future. The importance of hope cannot be overstated for a population whose one year outlook on life is death or jail.”
About Rosoff Awards
The Rosoff Awards were conceived to honor visionaries of the Boston business community who recognize that having a diverse workforce and operating in an inclusive environment can better serve the needs of a diverse population. Over the past 19 years, the Rosoff Awards has become one of New England’s premier diversity celebrations, honoring companies with meaningful diversity, mentoring and inclusion programs and individuals with a personal commitment to this important cause.
About The Ad Club
The Ad Club is the trade organization for marketing, advertising and communications in New England.
The Ad Club is the trade association for the New England marketing & communications Industry. Focused on networking, education, professional development, advocacy, and diversity, The Ad Club presents over 30 events and programs every year. Legacy events like the Hatch Awards, Media Auction, and Rosoff Awards run side-by-side with the latest in new media and the digital landscape. The Ad Club’s membership represents the best in class advertising agencies, media companies, and brands in the New England region.