Originally printed in the Chicago Sun Times
Even though coach Rico Gonzalez admitted that he was unsure how his New Heights Boxing Program would fair, his deep faith in boxing’s ability to positively influence kids’ lives never wavered. That’s why he turned the two-car garage behind his Wheeling home into a boxing gym five years ago. Gonzalez, himself, is living proof that the discipline and work ethic needed to succeed in the boxing ring provides a distinct alternative to the destructive influences of street life. And he said the boxers that need this discipline the most — the ones who are battling drug and gang influences — deserve this opportunity.