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November 29, 2014
Steve’s Club is a nonprofit organization that reaches out to at-risk youth through fitness—specifically CrossFit—says founder Steve Liberati.
Over the summer, kids representing Steve’s Club programs in Colorado, New Jersey, Tennessee and New York gathered at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania for the second annual Summer Leadership Camp.
“It’s about leadership activities to help the kids, to bring out the best in the kids, and to give them the traits and qualities they need to become leaders,” says Liberati.
Joining Liberati at the camp are CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff members Austin Malleolo and Denise Thomas, as well as Greg Amundson of CrossFit Amundson.
“Being part of the Steve’s Club Leadership Camp, ... it really just goes back to my childhood, growing up and kind of where I am now,” Malleolo says of participating in the camp. “I wasn’t the model child and what Steve’s done with these kids has created an opportunity for them to feel cared about.”
Camp participant Genesis, who joined Steve’s Club to spend more time with her boyfriend, says she may have dropped out of school had it not been for the program.
“I’ve grown up into a life where I’ve always been considered a mistake,” she explains. “I was gonna drop out (of) high school, and because of Steve’s Club, continuing with that, I didn’t drop out. Steve told me to keep going.”
Another camp participant, Ruben, says doing CrossFit has helped him adjust to life in the United States since moving from Mexico.
“CrossFit and fitness is very important,” he says. “And it kind of brings out the best in you.”
Video by Mike Koslap.
Additional reading: “Tending Bar” by Andréa Maria Cecil, published Jan. 9, 2014.