Youth find their inner zen with the help of Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center
Poverty has been greatly stigmatized in our country for many years. However, it can affect anyone, at any time. Someone can enter poverty in a multitude of ways—from excessive family medical bills to a job loss.
In Cleveland’s Latino community, many people have entered into poverty—each with their own unique individual stories—struggling with the ever-growing challenges of poverty, such as inadequate housing and low-wage employment.
Nueva Luz (New Light) Urban Resource Center was created in 1999 to originally fight the spread of HIV/AIDS among Cleveland’s poor. They soon found that HIV/AIDS was one main manifestation of the spiral into poverty—changing their mission to expand into reducing the causes of poverty, such as drug use and commercial sex work.
Adelante (Forward) Youth Development Program is a program created roughly 10 years ago and funded by United Way of Greater Cleveland through its wellness initiative. As a result, Nueva Luz partnered with the Shao Lin Kung Fu Academy about six years ago to provide improved health-related services to its youth and overall community. These free classes give youth the ability to have greater physical fitness, mental focus, confidence and commitment.
Dominic Hall, a 7-year-old boy living with his family in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood, recently began the Adelante Youth Development Program, specifically attending the Shao Lin Kung Fu Academy.
“The program is a great blessing because it has helped young Dominic with his communication skills and provided him with confidence. The Adelante program staff treat Dominic with great respect and support. We are very happy we found the program”
“I really love the program! I can’t wait to get there because I love martial arts and this will help me be the superhero I always wanted to be!” Dominic exclaims. The program has helped bring the family closer together, while providing Dominic with more confidence to persevere through his mild case of autism.