The sounds of metal free weights hitting the floor accompanied by grunts of exhaustion grew louder and clearer as I approached the entrance of the facility now known as H.O.P.E. Fitness Academy. Once inside, the intrigue was instantaneous. On each wall was magnificent motivational graffiti. Phrases such as “Never give up” and “Grind now, shine later” were plastered on the wall in crazy fonts and illustrious colors.
When H.O.P.E Fitness Academy participants leave school, they won’t hang out on the streets. Instead, they walk into another classroom, a classroom that teaches boys how to be men.