UCTV Interview

Mr. Billy Moore recently did an interview with Dr. Mobley of UCSD to talk about our foundation and our vision. The interview is available for viewing here.

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 KUSI News Segment

ABC Youth Foundation was featured on KUSI news! Click below to watch the segment on the KUSI website.

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Wawanesa Insurance Sponsors a Billboard

ABCBillboard

ABC sponsor, Wawanesa Insurance, provided a billboard in our neighborhood at 32nd and Market Street!

"Empowering this neighborhood's youth since 1957."


U-T Sports Cover Article
Safe Haven Salvages Youth
By Craig Malveaux, July 22, 2013

San Diego, CA_7/9/2013_ABC Youth Foundation  Jennifer Estrada, 16, of San Diego rolls with the punches during training at the Any Body Can Youth Foundation headquarters in Grant Hill. Founded by boxing legend Archie Moore in 1957, the ABC Youth Foundation offers an after-school program, consisting of boxing and tutoring, for at-risk youth. Misael Virgen/ UT San Diego

San Diego, CA_7/9/2013_ABC Youth Foundation Jennifer Estrada, 16, of San Diego rolls with the punches during training at the Any Body Can Youth Foundation headquarters in Grant Hill. Founded by boxing legend Archie Moore in 1957, the ABC Youth Foundation offers an after-school program, consisting of boxing and tutoring, for at-risk youth. Misael Virgen/ UT San Diego Misael Virgen

For weeks, the little boy had been reluctant to divulge his secret.

However, the weight became unbearable, facade difficult to maintain. So, the little boy elected to confide despite fearing judgment.

“You know, coach, I’m not afraid of anything. I can handle my own,” the little boy spouts to Billy Moore, pounding the center of his chest, fist clenched.

“I’m in the third grade, but I can’t even read at a first-grade level.”

Moore, Any Body Can Youth Foundation boxing gym owner and long-time boxing instructor, sinks back into his chair, listening.

“My mother doesn’t know it, but late at night, I crawl out of my window and I go outside and I look up at the sky and I say, “please help me read.’”

A Safe Haven

For roughly two decades, Moore has opened the doors of the ABC to misguided adolescents in the Stockton community.

Small but tidy, the 1,300 square-foot, beige-colored facility offers a comprehensive after-school program fractioned into two components.

Participants receive one-on-one tutoring in the learning center — chock-full of textbooks and computers at their disposal — and boxing instruction in the facility’s gym from a staff of licensed educators and boxing trainers.

In addition to instruction, help is available. Moore and his staff often moonlight as mentors and counselors, comforting, consoling and empowering kids who need a shoulder to cry or lean on or a confidant.

“I’ve been called to do it,” Moore said. “Our kids are in trouble, a lot of trouble. This program saves lives.”

Inception

ABC was founded by Archie Moore — Billy’s father — in 1957.

Undoubtedly, it’s a hefty burden and responsibility — chaperoning 50 regulars whom enter the program cloaked with rigid exteriors — but Moore refuses to view it as such.

The San Diego resident and professional boxer witnessed the deterioration of drug-and-gang-infested areas and the toll it had on the youth, predicting an epidemic in the United States, according to Billy.

Fearful, he created a prevention program, one that would offer a more positive, productive outlet for kids to counteract idle bodies and minds.

It began with a sport “the Old Mongoose” excelled in.

“Boxing is much like life,” said the late light heavyweight World Champion, who holds the record for most career knockouts (131), “where one learns through trial and error. But the best conditioned individual in boxing, as in life, will usually be the victor.”

According to Billy, his father believed boxing was the perfect tool to combat the rigors of life because, when grasped, the fundamentals of boxing provide discipline, confidence, self-reliance and lessons about character, life and citizenship.

“I will teach these kids how to step off in life with their best foot forward, “ Archie would say, “without cowardice, but with courage and dignity.”

Balance

The concept engrained in him, Billy assumed the reigns of the program in the early 90’s, continuing the work of his father, who would pass away in 1998 at the age of 81-years old.

Under his guidance, ABC moved several locations in Stockton before settling in the facility on Market Street. In addition, with the help of business partner Dr. Bob Murad, he established a 15-member board of directors and officially instituted a learning center, which transformed the then-exclusive boxing gym.

“The teacher-student ratio has decreased in this area, so the kids aren’t receiving as much attention or enough attention as they need, especially the ones that are on the perimeter of the classroom. They’re falling behind,” said lAnnieUMareska, operating manager, who joined ABC two years ago.

“Here, students that receive one-on-one help that they may be lacking without that structured classroom atmosphere that may discourage them from asking questions or actively participating. In addition, they’re surrounded by a number of positive influences and role models.”

A graduate of lCarnegie Mellon University, iMareska serves as the primary director of the learning center. She coordinates daily programming.

“This place is home away from home to me,” said LeMar Slater, a tutor.

“I wholeheartedly believe in this program because I witnessed it first-hand. That’s what brings me back: I want to give back and make a difference in a kid’s life.”

Like the participants, Slater grew up in San Diego and blossomed at ABC. Applying the life lessons learned, he graduated valedictorian in high school and an honors graduate of Mathematics at Moorehouse College. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree at San Diego State University.

Packing a Punch

The boxing gym is an extension of the learning center.

Inside, Billy proscribes profanity. And elicits respect, only replying to answers capped by “sir” — a formality teaching good, moral values. Before each session, Billy and the kids review “the concept.”

Together, the group recites the pledge of allegiance before spouting off the basis of ABC and the do’s and don’ts of model citizens.

“Put on your thinking caps,” Billy normally advises.

He and Arthur Wilson among other boxing coaches educate participants on the fundamentals of boxing in the ring with music blaring in the background. Lessons include footwork, technique, the core punches, conditioning, defense and shadow boxing.

“When you look at boxing, on the surface, you see a regular sport, just like anything else,” Wilson said.

“But what you learn in the ring translates over into society. You learn about discipline, how to be disciplined, how to take care of your body, independency and responsibility.”

Together, the two instructors boast 65 plus years of boxing experience.

“Just like I know the sun is going to come up each day,” Billy said, “I know he’ll (Arthur) be here.”

And so will Billy.

Two years later, the little boy appears again, confiding once more to Billy, but with a pair of bystanders.

“I can read at the fifth grade-level like I’m supposed to!” he acknowledges, brimming with confidence and displaying a smile a mile long.

“I remember dropping him off at his home one time,” Moore explains.

“His mother asks, “Are you coming to school tomorrow? He is receiving an award. An award, I ask, confused. She says yes, a reading award.’”

The little boy’s fourth most improved reading award, actually.

“That’s so great that you’re doing so well,” one bystander chimes in, giving the little boy a high-five. “Are you excited for the next grade this year?”

“I have to repeat,” the little boy responds.

“The only reason I have to repeat is because I missed too many days.”

Moore gingerly rubs the top of the little boy’s head, comforting him like he did the very first time, when the little boy informed Billy of his reading impairment.

“Don’t worry,” Billy reassures him.

“We’ll take care of it. Everything is going to be okay.”


The 11th Annual LEAD San Diego Visionary Awards

Thursday, May 23, 2013
5:00 to 8:30 pm

@ Hilton San Diego Bayfront

ABC President, Billy Moore, to be recognized as a finalist for the “Community Spotlight Award” on receiving the 2012 November Leadership Award by Channel 10News.


National Conflict Resolution Center Trains Our Boxers in Handling Conflict

During our 2013 Spring Break Program a group of our dedicated high school boxers were required to complete a three day workshop offered by the National Conflict Resolution Center. The wide range of alternative dispute techniques taught will allow the youth to prevent and resolve conflicts using non-adversarial means. The behaviourally constructive skills learned through the NCRC workshop should create a balance with the physically aggressive skills learned in boxing and enable the ABC boxers to step out of the ring and out of the gym with even greater self-confidence. The NCRC provided this training free of cost on April 1st, 3rd, and 4th.

NBC 7 News Coverage- April 3, 2013


10News Leadership Award November Recipient - ABC President, Billy Moore

ABC President Billy Moore was awarded the 2012 November 10News Leadership award powered by SDG&E and LEAD San Diego.  This award recognizes someone who provides leadership by making San Diego a better place to live, standing up for those who need help, has initiated or created solutions for others, is a role model and fulfills a local need- thereby improving the quality of life for all San Diegans.  Congrats to our President!

ABC10 News Coverage- November 2012


'San Diego Voice and Viewpoint' Highlights ABC

San Diego Voice and Viewpoint news publication paid a visit to the ABC Youth Foundation to help promote its cause.  See the wonderful article below, written by Kimetha Hill:

San Diego Voice and Viewpoint- November 2012


Stars & Stripes Sailing Tour Courtesy of Dennis Conner

During our 2012 Summer "Bridging the Gap" Program, Dennis Conner invited our youth participants for another sailing trip around the San Diego Bay on the Stars & Stripes to a new group of ABC's 25 youths.  This was a once in a lifetime experience for our youth.  Dennis Connor donated his time and all costs to provide this opportunity.

NBC 7 News Coverage- August 2012


Boxing Gym Does so Much More for Kids Than Teach Them a Sport

UT Concept_w_Al_Bernstein
Billy Moore, son of boxing great Archie Moore, discusses ABC concepts Tuesday with his boxers and a special visitor, noted boxing broadcaster and author Al Bernstein (right).  — Eduardo Contreras

San Diego - There are many important places in this city, but perhaps none more so than the innocuous building tucked away next to what appears to be a permanent garage sale on the 3100 block of Market Street. There you will find the Any Body Can Foundation, and it’s an urban treasure chest, a sanctuary for the young in a neighborhood that has seen numerous killings in recent weeks.

It’s an amateur boxing gym, but what makes it important is that it’s so much more. As you enter, the first thing you see is a library and study hall, where kids come after school to get help with their homework or get tutored before working out in the gym, which is in the rear. It is a great safe house, a place designed by Billy Moore, son of legendary boxer Archie (who founded ABC here in 1957 and holds the unbreakable world record of 131 career knockouts), to get children off the streets and out of gangs.

Yeah, this is an important place, all right.

The foundation is very close to noted boxing broadcaster and author Al Bernstein, who flew in Monday to talk to the kids about Archie Moore (featured in his new book (“30 years, 30 Undeniable Truths About Boxing, Sports And TV”) and the importance of the program.
“I think amateur boxing has one main goal: to be helpful to youngsters,” Bernstein was saying.

“It isn’t about world champions or Olympic medals, although in this country that seems to be how we measure success.”

“That’s it,” Moore chimed in.

“If we never win a medal, amateur boxing would be a success, and this place is that on steroids,” Bernstein said. “The first things you see when you walk in here are books, a library. This is a place that helps kids when it isn’t always good to be a kid. This is a holistic, integrated place. It’s unique in the same way Archie Moore was unique, and Billy has that gene in him — as a human being, he has that same gene in him. Archie was the most fascinating athlete I’ve ever met, and really, second place behind him isn’t really close.”

Billy, a noted trainer who has been in charge of ABC for 17 years, doesn’t brag about producing boxing champions. “Our best boxer is a girl, Jenny Hernandez,” he said with a shrug. “She’s a tough one.”

No, he talks of one of his kids going to Yale. He talks about a mother who brought in her sons, who were terrorizing the neighborhood, and how, after being around ABC for a while they came up to him and said: “You’ve got to help us get our mother’s trust back.”

Says Moore: “Most of the kids used to come in alone. Now, I’d say more than 40 percent of them come in with a parent.”

Of course, we had to talk boxing. Some will tell you MMA has taken over, that the sweet science is a dying sport. But Bernstein will have none of it.

“MMA is here to stay, but it isn’t going to replace boxing, which isn’t going away,” he said. “Internationally, boxing is very strong, while in the United States, it is more of a niche sport, as most everything is except the NFL. I’m not shilling for boxing. It shoots itself in the foot and this has been a particularly bad year. But it’s been much better than it was in the ’90s.

“The big problem, in my opinion, is that the sport isn’t covered. The media has stopped doing that. But starting about 10 years ago — by accident, really, because no one’s running it — we started to see better matches that people want to see, everything but (Manny) Pacquiao and (Floyd) Mayweather.

“My big mantra is that boxing is neither as bad as people think nor as good as people say. But the only place you can have that discussion is in America, because it’s strong everyplace else.”

To me, the problem is the heavyweight division. There isn’t one in this country, and heavyweights sell. They’re the hooks. I covered just about every major fight in the 1980s and into the 1990s and, believe me, there is nothing in sports that can match the electricity of a heavyweight championship fight. And that’s gone.

“I was just in Europe doing a (British heavyweight) Tyson Fury fight,” Bernstein said. “He’s 23 years old. If he were fighting 15 years ago, no one would pay attention to him. Now he’s ranked 15th in the world.

“It’s like tennis in America. We are bereft of American heavyweights, and there is so much mythology there. It’s an amazing thing, especially when you consider the other divisions are populated with terrific fighters.”

But the main topic for the day was not to be boxing. It was to be Billy Moore and ABC and the wonderful work he has done.

After we finished talking, Billy walked me out to my car. He looked around and became a bit emotional and waved a hand.

“If we can save just one life. …”

I think this is a good place to end the column.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (July 2012)


The Making of a Heavyweight Champion

Billy Concept

Any Body Can President Billy Moore, 62, works with 5-year-old Xavier Allen during a session at the nonprofit organization's gym in the Southeastern San Diego neighborhood of Stockton. -- John R. McCutchen

Moore, the 62-year-old son of late boxing champion Archie Moore, has struggled to get his Any Body Can nonprofit on firm footing. But the organization, which has operated on and off for decades under different names and at different locations, appears like it finally has the support and infrastructure to make it, and possibly expand, in the long term.

Over the past year, Moore and his new partner, Dr. Bob Murad, have raised $400,000, assembled a 15-member board of directors and added a library and education component to what, for years, was exclusively a boxing gym. The organization’s new focus includes building relationships with local schools to provide an outlet for children who want to avoid gangs.

“The goal is to teach youngsters how to step off in life with their best foot forward, without cowardice but with courage and dignity,” Moore said. “People don’t realize it, but this gang stuff is big business. If kids don’t have the courage and the dignity to stand up, then people will recruit them.”

Any Body Can was started by Archie Moore under the moniker Any Boy Can more than four decades ago. Billy Moore took over in the 1990s, once running the program out of his backyard. It currently operates out of a 1,300-square-foot facility at 3131 Market St. in the southeastern San Diego neighborhood of Stockton.

There are about 50 kids between the ages of 7 and 17 who regularly participate in the program, Moore said.

A year ago, things weren’t going so well.

Moore was working odd construction jobs during the day just to pay the facility’s rent, and he was barely keeping the organization going in his free time, Murad said. But everything changed when Moore teamed with Murad, who practices internal medicine at Scripps Clinic.

The pair successfully solicited a six-figure donation from car dealer Lou Grubb to fix up the Market Street gym and turn it into a “model home.” Murad’s wife Amy, a teacher, came on to build an educational component. She is now in charge of the new learning center.

In the meantime, Murad has recruited the financial assistance and know-how of several of his patients, and the organization now has $200,000 in the bank, he said. A second location is planned for the Riverside County city of Hemet, based on the conceptual model built over the past 12 months.

“We have a very good plan,” Murad said. “We know where we’re going.”

And momentum is building. Designs are in place to relocate into a bigger facility by January, and the nonprofit will unveil a refined after-school program with more adult mentors, Murad said.

Moore and Murad also said they have been encouraged to apply for federal money through the Community Development Block Grant program, a potential game-changer should they succeed.

City officials are beginning to notice their work.

Councilman David Alvarez was among those who attended a recent open house at the Market Street facility to witness a demonstration of Moore’s brand of discipline.

“There are not enough good things in this community, and this is one of them,” Alvarez told a packed house of parents, kids and staff members on Oct. 27. “The media and general public, they only tell the bad stories. They don’t tell the good stories, and we have a good story here today.”

Source (Written by Nathan Max, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 3, 2011).


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