The Coach: Boxing in Little Village

By Mathias Meier for Medill Social Justice Initiative.

Gabriel Navarrol knows well about how boxing can lead kids to a brighter future. Growing up in Little Village, Chicago, he encountered violence, gangs and drug abuse at an early age. But through sports he managed to leave those troubled days behind and also find his true passion as a mentor for future generations.

Today Navarro coaches over 50 boys and girls at the Chicago Youth Boxing Club, a small gym located in the basement of a Little Village community church. His goal? Getting these young boxers to college so they are able to build a better life for themselves off the streets.