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United Trainers and Boxers Association of New York

Award Recipients - 2004

Fernando "Ponce" Laspina & Juan Laporte, Co-Founders

United Trainers and Boxers Association of New York, Inc. (UTBA) is a center whose mission to better the quality of life of the people in the community through sports, cultural and education programs.  It houses two major activities: a sports center named El Maestro after the Puerto Rican patriot Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos.  Both offer programs to adults and children, and participants are welcomed and take part in multiple activities seven days a week.

In 2003, the co-founders combined their areas of expertise to create an engaging environment for South Bronx residents.  The Juan Laporte Gym contains a regulation size boxing ring and runs a health project encouraging young people to combine a healthy mind with a healthy body.  Several have won amateur boxing championships.  El Meastro id dedicated to nurturing and developing all aspects of Puerto Rican culture, history and identity, and offers cultural and educational workshops.  Voter registration education is part of all the center’s activities.  UTBA encourages youth leadership through the Youth Empowerment Project, which meets monthly to study Puerto Rican history and culture and engage in community projects.

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