Cooney Cares For NJ’s At-Risk Youth - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Cooney Cares For NJ’s At-Risk Youth

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Hackensack, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Former heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney is spending his time outside of the ring helping kids in need. He is part of the YCS program which is a social service throughout the entire state of New Jersey that helps ‘at-risk’ kids.

Some of these kids have been taken off the streets, from detention centers, or by DYFS due to poor home-life situations.

For over ten years now, Cooney has been pairing up with New Jersey’s youth and teaching them how to box. He hits the gym floors and offers these kids a great workout, but more importantly a great outlet. He is teaching them life skills that they may not have learned before because of their broken homes or other various reasons.

The kids participating in the program range from 13 to 15 years-old and Cooney feel’s these are the perfect ages for the boys to learn to make decisions for themselves and change the path that their life has taken.

Barbara Bishop Wells is the Coordinator for Youth Consultation Services and she couldn’t be happier with the work Cooney is doing with these kids.

“He’s always been more than just someone who’s boxing with the kids. He has really been a mentor, he listens to them, if they have a particular problem he’ll talk with them,” she explained.

Cooney is very much like a father figure to the kids, even doing stuff with them outside of the gym.

“He’d take us out on activities and stuff, Yankee games, he has fight nights, he does a whole bunch of stuff,” some of the kids explained.

He also gives them a way to work through their frustrations and get out their anger through boxing.


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