Now, Alonso, 37, is fighting for children today to have what she couldn’t — literally.
The two-time blackbelt will enter the boxing ring on May 23, she’ll put on her gloves at a charity match, where she is representing “Give a Kid a Dream,” a charity that hosts afterschool activities for underprivileged students.
“This is what I can do to help; so I'm doing it" Alonso said.
Alonso has been fighting for about 16 years now — she has blackbelts in karate and kickboxing.
“I hope people can donate as much as possible; life can be rough for children in NYC, organizations like these help ”
All proceeds benefit Give A Kid A Dream
Gleason's Gym's Give A Kid A Dream program, which has been featured on CBS & NBC and in the Wall Street Journal, provides at-risk youth an opportunity to turn their lives around. Through working, training and studying in a safe environment with mentors, this program goes far beyond a simple membership in an athletic club that teaches only boxing. We provide program members with tutors and social workers when needed, and the kids learn life skills like understanding the value of work and discipline and understanding the consequences of their own actions.
The money we raise goes towards tutors and supplies, athletic equipment and educational trips, and possibly most importantly it helps us take everyone in the program to the Gleason's upstate Fantasy Camp for one week in August, where the kids get to share experiences unlike any they have in their every day lives in the city.
The biggest reward of all, though, is watching our program members transition to colleges and jobs, and many go on to achieve life goals they never thought possible. In some cases, they've gotten full scholarships to college like Tommy Martinez at NYU, or they've graduated to a higher calling like Yuri Foreman who's now a practicing Rabbi.