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Contender for Success: One man's mission to help kids in Jacksonville and why he needs your help

Gerald Jefferson started a boxing program in the Jacksonville area four years ago. But, he's never had a permanent space.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Every Saturday morning at the corner of A. Phillip Randolph Boulevard and Union Street, you'll find Gerald Jefferson teaching young people how to box. 

He's known to his students as "Coach G." 

"He's a good, hardworking man, he cares about the kids a lot," Janae Mobley said. 

Jefferson started this boxing program almost four years ago in Orange Park. 

"I moved around within the four years, four or five times," Gerald Jefferson explained. 

He's never had a permanent space, so he just sets up where he can and the kids follow. During the week, he runs a landscaping business. He says he uses that money to fund the program. 

"A lot of these kids in single homes with mothers that have no father figure," Jefferson said. "No uncles. I play that part because it's my purpose."

He calls his training program "Men of Loyalty" because it was men who stepped in to help him stay out of trouble. 

"We want men of loyalty to come to help to try to change Jacksonville," Jefferson added. 

Credit: First Coast News

Of course, he says, the program is open to young ladies as well. 

Jefferson says he's trying to change Jacksonville by reaching young people. He wants to keep them off the streets and their feet planted on a strong foundation.  

He learned to box at a young age and considers it a mental sport. These boxing lessons are just a small portion of the bigger message he's trying to teach. 

"Not only in the boxing program do we teach boxing, we teach character," Jefferson explained. 

Mobley has been in the boxing program since she was 14. 

"They teach us how to be a good person as well as a good boxer," Mobley said. 

She's now on her way to college.

"I say 85% of my kids have turned everything around to where their parents come to me now showing their reports cards with all A's. Before they had D's and F's," Jefferson added. 

Credit: First Coast News

Jefferson wants to help more kids. But, he doesn't have his own place. 

"I need a facility," Jefferson said. "I don't want to bring them outside all the time. I want a facility where I can have two rings, a classroom, and other things, so I can teach these kids success."

He's looking for a building he can use, or someone he can partner with, so he can teach more students footwork, jabs, and confidence. 

"Because right now kids need confidence," Jefferson responded. 

As was mentioned in the story, Jefferson's training program only happens on Saturdays. He would like to have a place for kids to come daily. He and his wife also teach financial literacy and business skills.

If you would like to learn more or offer a building for his program, email Gerald Jefferson at molyboxing@gmail.com or call 904-803-9462. 

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