The Green Beret Project (GBP) was created in 2016 by former Army Green Berets who wanted to take the Green Beret mission and apply that to fighting the destructive forces of poverty facing inner-city youth. To take on that challenge, they’re using CrossFit to form relationships and be a supporting resource in the lives of youth.
By the numbers:
- Six locations across the U.S. with the headquarters in Dover, DE; one in St. Louis, MO and another in Kansas City, MO.
- Mentored around 250+ inner-city kids in the last four years.
- 15 mentors working with the program.
- 304 juveniles arrested in Dover, DE in 2016.
- It costs $150,000 to incarcerate a juvenile for one year in Delaware.
- The juvenile recidivism rate is 85% in Delaware.
The Project: The Delaware-based nonprofit offers free CrossFit classes after school and during weekends for at-risk youths. These programs include helping youths develop foundations in fitness and nutrition through the CrossFit methodology.
- Using fitness as a base, the volunteers and mentors teach leadership, accountability, teamwork and other important life skills that are often lacking in the youth’s household.
- In 2018, the organization’s mission and success within the inner city led them to becoming an official CrossFit Foundation partner. Donations to the CrossFit Foundation, the charitable arm of HQ, is distributed to their partners and their causes to help set up programs and new affiliates, specifically in underserved communities.
- Healthy Steps Nutrition recently developed a free nutrition program in partnership with the Green Beret Project so other gyms can help guide younger athletes towards healthier eating.
- All funding for the Green Beret Project is through donations and they are currently looking for volunteers and mentors as they look to expand their efforts throughout the United States.
- Watch the three minute overview video.
Why it matters: The Green Beret Project is on the front lines of a growing poverty problem in America, a problem made worse by rising unemployment rates due to COVID-19. It’s also an organization leading the charge in a growing trend in the CrossFit community to focus on underserved communities.
- According to Adam Kramer, state director, coach and former inmate: “The support from CrossFit and the community has enabled us to impact the lives of countless kids in underserved neighborhoods. Our goal is to replicate our model which includes partnering with local gyms around the country in an effort to positively impact young lives.”
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