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Beaumont organization hoping to provide outlet for youth amid uptick in crimes across Southeast Texas

Boxing typically teaches mental focus and physical strength, but one coach is teaching the sport in a different way.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Recently, Beaumont has seen an uptick in crime.

Monday night, a shooting at the Lamar Landing Apartments left five people hurt.

In late April, officers say a 17-year-old shot and killed a man on Usan Street, and there was a drive-by shooting on I-10 near 7th Street that injured two people.

Officers say kids and teens are behind a lot of the recent crimes.

A Beaumont organization hopes to provide a solution. It's offering other ways for the youth to release their anger.

Boxing typically teaches mental focus and physical strength, but Kendra Hill is teaching the sport in a different way. 

“We've noticed the uptick in violence that has been going on with our youth,” Hill said.

Hill is one of the coaches at 409 Elite Boxing. He's giving these children a way to box out bad behavior and provide an outlet for anger.

“So, we took the initiative as coaches and leaders to try to prevent the youngsters, to find a better avenue, other ways to prevent violence,” Hill said.

Hill said he wants the youth to pick up gloves instead of a weapon.

“We don't want them to pick up any guns, we trying to show him this other way to solve issues,” Hill said.

Janaya Freeman has been in the ring for three months now and said she's noticed a difference in her behavior.

“You have like control your anger," Freeman said. "Like we have anger and shame you could like take it out on the bag and not somebody else like to harm them or stuff like that.”

Not only are students releasing anger in the ring, but they are also building confidence.

“I had one kid when he first came in he was kind of timid. He told me he's being bullied at school and had confidence issues,” Hill said.

“I've learned how to throw jabs and right hooks,” one student said.

Hill and his fellow coaches believe this is what the youth of Beaumont needs.

"We all noticed that there wasn't a program really just focusing and targeting the youth," Hill said.

If you're interested in the program, contact (409) 338-3913.

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