BOSTON (CBS) – Before the work day begins, business professionals at Boston Consulting Group are getting the opportunity to change lives and enhance their own through a non-profit called Inner City Weightlifting.
ICW works with young adults who are at the highest risk for violence and teaches them to become professional trainers. “Most of our students have been shot, nearly all have done significant jail time, they’re coming from family incomes of less than $10,000 per year,” ICW CEO Jon Feinman said.
Through trust, hope, and exercise, ICW takes these students from the streets to the some of the most recognizable companies in Boston to become their clients.
Kristopher Gray, 33 of Boston, has been shot and served jail time. Today he trains a group of professionals at Boston Consulting Group by turning their cafeteria into a fitness frenzy. “ICW gave me a better sense of thinking, being in an environment and where everybody is taking you in,” Gray said.
The clients love the challenge. “At BCG one of our main cornerstones is social impact and getting into the community and I think they’re a great organization for us to partner with,” BCG employee Kasey Sullivan said.
ICW is not just about becoming a personal trainer but giving young people opportunity to work with their clients personally which in many cases can lead to a whole new career.
“It’s about leveraging the network of clients that we have coming into the gym, of partners like John Hancock, Bank of America, leveraging them to put different options on the table,” Feinman said.
Kristopher Gray now has his own media company and continues to train clients at their companies or at the ICW gym in Boston. “There’s always people out here to help,” Gray said. “You just got to find it, and when you do find it, it’s whether you want to do it, put your mind into just doing it.”
“It’s a new outlook on not only where we as individuals can go, but where we as a society can go,” Feinman said.