DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WKBW) — It all started with the ice rink this time last year. That's when four young men started taking things into their own hands, pursuing projects to improve the Dunkirk community. One year later, they're still bringing safe, fun spaces to kids.
"A space that they can be themselves, find their personality, figure out who they are," said Christopher Rodriguez, one of the organizers of Small Town Big Minds and the President of Kids at Promise.
Over the summer, 7 News showed you their next big project, renovating a building to provide a huge recreation center for kids.
But that's a few years a way and in the meantime, kids still need a safe space. Rodriguez provides that with "Kids at Promise".
"This is like my getaway place. When I get mad I come here," said Sincere Sellers.
Kids at Promise is a place for kids to come after school to do activities. From baking to art to their popular 2XL boxing program.
"We have over 100 kids registered, but we [can] only have 20-25 kids because we can't take anymore in this building, until we get our other building started," said Rodriguez.
It's a tight squeeze, but they make do with what they have, training kids for boxing shows. Sincere has been training for two years with people like Elon Dejesus, a Dunkirk native turned professional boxer, who still comes back to 2XL to help out.
"I'm definitely proud of my hometown, it gives the kids here something to do. A lot of them are excited, they call me before and after the fights to get advice," said Dejesus.
To continue growing the boxing program, working on the rec center and increase his community impact, Rodriguez is continuing to collect donations. To donate, click here.
"They don't even have to be a pro boxer, if they just have a long term career and take care of their families. Keeping them away from drug use, keeping them away from domestic violence...that is really the goal," said Rodriguez.