February 25, 2013 12:25 pm
Updated: April 4, 2013 3:03 pm

Making a Difference: Mentoring Junior Kids Organization

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Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO) is a youth-based charity focused on physical activity, health eating, giving back to the community and making dreams turn into reality by using non-contact boxing as a tool to get kids moving.

“We’re going work on all the positive things that boxing teaches us without actually going ahead and hitting anyone,” Miranda Kamal, founder of MJKO said.

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A negative occurrence in Kamal’s life prevented her from achieving her dream.

“I had the dream of going on to become a big, famous boxer but my dream got ended due to a spinal cord injury,” she said.

Despite this setback, Kamal’s commitment to the sport of boxing never faltered.

“As a way of staying connected to the sport, I came up with the idea of giving back to the community and that’s what helped me heal as a person,” she said.

MJKO runs a Blueprint Program at Parkdale Public School, helping break down barriers between the police, community and kids.

This program uses non-contact boxing to try to create a positive place to relieve stress, new friendships and enhance the students’ lives.

“They look up to her. I was wondering about that too because the idea of a woman in that role as a boxing coach…but they love her,” Trevor Douglas, vice-principal of Parkdale Public School said.

The Blueprint program enables students to reflect on themselves and eventually figure out their life goals.

Douglas’ had his reservations about boxing being part of his school, but says he “never looked back.”

“I have to admit, at first when Miranda contacted me, I was a little bit reticent, the idea of bringing boxing into a school because we’re always preaching about anti-bullying and non-violent ways of solving conflict…I brought it in, and I never looked back,” Douglas said.

Founder of MJKO, Kamal shared the reason why she started boxing.

“I took up this sport because I wanted to feel safe. As a young person, as a 16-year-old, I was a victim of a sexual assault in high school. It was actually when I learned the art and science of boxing, that I finally felt safe again,” Kamal said.

In two years, the program has helped over 3,000 young people from all walks of life become community champions.

“We’re not looking to create the next world champion or national champion, we’re looking to create community champions and those are people that do something as simple as hold the door for someone, or carry a bag,” Kamal said. “People who believe in themselves and believe that no matter what the world tells them, if you have a dream, you can make it work.”

Visit the Mentoring Junior Kids Organization.

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