About Us

Story

Story

Chicago Youth Boxing Club is a nonprofit sports-based youth development program operating in Chicago’s South Lawndale community (also known as Little Village).

CYBC began in 2006 and is one of only a few independent boxing programs in Chicago dedicated to comprehensive youth engagement that focuses on holistic approaches to youth wellness. Our mission is to give youth a constructive, healthy alternative to gang violence and drug activity through the sport of boxing while they build the life skills and determination necessary to seek a positive future for themselves and their community.

CYBC’s goal is to provide children with a platform for expanding upon the discipline and goal-orientation necessary to succeed in their academic, extracurricular and lifelong pursuits. In addition, CYBC seeks to improve youth health by increasing knowledge of fitness and nutrition.

History

History

History

CYBC established its present boxing gym in 2006 with initial seed funding and a capital grant from LISC to build out the club’s space and purchase a boxing ring and equipment. CYBC began with a handful of committed youth members from the surrounding neighborhood and volunteer coaches, who assisted in the demolition, clean-up, and reconstruction that is now the gym. The original vision was to offer youth in South Lawndale a safe space to train in the rigorous sport of boxing, while providing a positive alternative to gang involvement. CYBC has since expanded programming to include a youth development focus, including its health, mentoring, and college readiness programs. The club’s Head Coach is a former professional boxer who grew up in the neighborhood and whose objective is to edify the community through proactive youth engagement. Read More

The annual CYBC Power Gloves Tournament demonstrates the determination of inner-city youth to succeed in life through sports and seeks to promote the mission of youth development through boxing. Read Less

Mission

Mission

Mission

To provide a positive and healthy environment for Chicago’s inner city youth; instilling positive and productive skills, and discipline, through boxing and team environment.

Mission

Coaches

Coaches

Coach

Gabriel Navarro

Head Coach

Gabriel Navarro, a former professional boxer, has dedicated over 22 years of boxing (2 years as an amateur, 5 years as a pro, and 14 years coaching youth boxers through the lens of violence prevention. He has trained over 140 Chicago youth as boxing coaches. He is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. Gabriel has kept a positive outlook by dedicating himself to wrestling, baseball, and football. After graduation he became involved in boxing to keep himself on a positive path. Gabriel has overcame many challenges and passes on that knowledge to the youth he mentors.

Coach

Angelica Arroyo

Program Director

Angelica Arroyo is Program Director, aside from that role, Angelica assists as one of the youth boxing trainers at CYBC and serves as a character development mentor. She is at her best when she is helping community youth to pursue a healthier and more wholesome lifestyle. Her love for fitness and her passion for athletic excellence have made her a valuable asset to CYBC. Angelica has been integral in fostering an atmosphere where students can comfortably pursue holistic development incorporating health, fitness and character in community. Angelica also is ranked 4th in the nation and is a very smart boxer.

Coach

Alina Hernandez

Wellness Coach

Alina Hernandez attends National Louis University, majoring in Criminal Justice. Alina has been active with CYBC for over 7 years as a member and was then hired as the wellness coach. Alina was very shy when she started learning how to hit the bag, steadily progressing to competing, and now coaching youth and striving to enroll more women into boxing. She has achieved a couple of championships along the way, specifically in 2017, she won King of the Jungle and Chicago Golden Gloves. Alina is dedicated and plans to use her experience and expertise to impact as many young ladies as possible during her time at CYBC.

Coach

Raul Alcala

Gym Manager

Raul Alcala has been with CYBC for 11 years, first in his childhood and then as he has continued into his adult years. Throughout his time with the club, he has invested in the community with a faithful heart and for the youth he mentors. Raul guides the youth and challenges them to improve their boxing craft along with the discipline to accomplish their goals outside of the gym has always been a priority. CYBC has provided a platform where Raul can live out his passion to help and train youth to achieve their health and fitness goals in addition to their life goals. In his amateur boxing career, Raul won 2010 Illinois State Silver Gloves State Champion, 2011 and 2014 Junior Olympics State Champion, 2014 Junior Olympics Regional Champion, and has been a Power Gloves Champion in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Coach

Jorge Perez

Coach Mentor

Jorge Perez is a nationally ranked boxer who won Nationals in 2018. He has had more than 70 bouts in his amateur career. He is currently awaiting his professional debut, in late 2021. Coach Jorge has been boxing for over 8 years, starting and continuing at CYBC. He started at CYBC when he was 13, and since then has been infatuated with the sport of boxing. It is here where Jorge’s discipline has grown and expanded. He has become a new addition to the CYBC team, not as a boxer, but as a mentor and trainer to share his passion of boxing and be a positive role model to the youth of the community in and out the boxing ring. He continues to expand and elevate others in and through the sport of boxing.

Coach

Isaih Rodriguez

Coach Mentor

Isiah Rodriguez is the youngest mentor and coach in CYBC’s team, but that does not discredit him as a noteworthy coach and mentor. He shows great enthusiasm working with the youth and continuously develops innovative ways in engaging the young people at CYBC. In 2019, he won the Junior Golden Gloves at the heavyweight division, and is motivated to continue his boxing journey. He is passionate about boxing and believes it is a sport that builds fortitude, intelligence, and patience. Isiah’s inspiration and muse that brought him through CYBC doors was his father, Pastor Victor. His father was the person who helped give CYBC a home in the Little Village neighborhood and was a significant advocate for boxing and providing a place for the gym.

Coach

Jonathan Salinas

Coach Mentor

Jonathan Salinas was introduced to boxing at the age of 14, when he was hired as an intern with After School Matters, an after school program CYBC hosts throughout the year. He was moved by the stories he heard through his peers and the impact it has had on the youth and the community. Being at CYBC as a youth, he grew a sense of pride of being a part of an organization that has aided him in his growth. Jonathan believes that boxing is a sport that brings him joy, and CYBC has become a safe space where he can explore his curiosity and elevate his knowledge of the sport. He is a coach whose natural curiosity and fondness of the sport has allowed him to be an individual who is forever growing. He has been boxing since 2016 and is currently an active amateur boxer at CYBC.

Staff

Staff

Coach

Melinda Duran

Office Administrator

Melinda M Duran is the Office Administrator at CYBC. Having been raised in the Back of the Yards and the Little Village communities, she is well aware of the challenges many of the youth at CYBC may face. When she was introduced to CYBC, she was immediately impressed with the work being done with the athletes and determined from that moment to be a part of the community at CYBC. Her administrative skills and passion for the youth have been extremely valuable in helping secure scholarships for many of the student athletes. She continues to invest passionately in her work to make sure the youth of her community do not turn to the streets but instead have a safe place to hone their skills.

Coach

Leslie Bernabe

Administrative & Academic Assistant

Leslie Bernabe is the Administrative and Academic Assistant, who was also a former Junior Coach at CYBC. She currently attends Malcolm X College. Leslie arrived at CYBC at the age of 15, and credits CYBC with helping her to overcome her shyness and strengthen her character by building relationships and leadership skills. Her goal now is to strengthen the youth's persona, teaching youth to take initiative and accountability by signing in, scanning-in, and making session reservations. Leslie joined the staff team because she believes organizations like CYBC provide positive impact to youth in the community.

Volunteers

Volunteers

  • David “Tiny” Estrada
  • Raul Gonzalez

Board

Board

  • David Babb (Board Chair)
  • Sylvia Del Raso (Treasurer)
  • Leticia Diaz (Secretary)
  • Dr. John Pandolfino (Director)
  • Calvin Taylor (Director)
  • Daniel Michel (Director)
  • Benjamin Estrada (Director)