"Inside a gym on Chicago’s West Side, young people are learning the discipline of boxing from proven trainers. But the benefits go beyond the sport – these same youth are receiving life-changing support.

“Education is not what happens within a school, but the totality of experiences that shape a young person’s reach, potential, and understanding of their place in the world,” said Jamyle Cannon, executive director and founder of The Bloc.

The nonprofit organization empowers kids to attain high school and university degrees through daily mentorship and a holistic approach to educational success.

“One hundred percent of The Bloc’s members have graduated high school and been accepted into college since 2016,” Cannon said. “Despite having no academic barriers to entry, full-year members have ended each school year with an average GPA of 3.2 or higher.”

Cannon was recently recognized as a Luminary by The 1954 Project, a Black-led education philanthropy initiative to fund diverse leaders. In this Q&A, he discusses how The Bloc uses sports-based education to help students reach their full potential and transform their lives."

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