InnerCity Weightlifting wanted to get young people into the gym and keep them there, and with a 96% retention rate, they’ve been successful in that regards. But providing an alternative to the streets was just the first step. Once there, students can begin to realize other opportunities they previously thought were impossible--finishing school, getting a job, even leaving a gang, which in turn makes them a positive role model for their peers.
Though still in its early stages, InnerCity Weightlifting has already received awards from Social Innovation Forum, Social Venture Partners, Year Up, Good Sports, Babson College, and the Boston Celtics, was a finalist for the 2012 Massachusetts, Nonprofit Network Young Professional Award, and was a semi-finalist for the 2012 Echoing Green Award.
But more important than the recognition are the lives affected. InnerCity Weightlifting has been able to hire 4 students to help run the gym and has connected over 50 more to job opportunities. And now that the program’s students are leading training sessions for paying, corporate clients, InnerCity Weightlifting is taking the first steps to becoming self-sufficient and replicating its model in other cities.
This, of course, is welcome news to The Lynch Foundation. Because as much as the Foundation enjoys helping great ideas take off, they love seeing a innovative and impactful program flourish on its own.