FLINT, Michigan—Claressa Shields has come back to her hometown of Civic Park an undisputed champion — and an advocate of youth mental health.
The Claressa Shields Community Project will open this summer with a free summer camp for children 7 to 16 years old. Shields officially announced the project during the Civic Park Centennial Summer Kickoff Celebration earlier this month.
Families and volunteers can sign up for the 2019 summer camp during an open house set for 2-4 p.m. May 25 at Joy Tabernacle Church, 2505 N. Chevrolet Avenue. The event will also include a tour of the facilities as well as an opportunity to meet Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and middle-weight women’s boxing champ.
The Claressa Shields Community Project is a collaboration with Joy Tabernacle as one of many community enrichment programs offered by the church. It will operate out of a house just across the street from Joy.
The 2019 summer camp will operate Monday through Friday and aims to serve approximately 150 children. It is set to launch in June and continue through September.
Related story: Claressa Shields launches community project aimed at helping Flint kids
Shields grew up on Flint’s northside and said boxing became her outlet to deal with her own early childhood trauma — but she said more should be done to help children outside of the scope of sports. The Claressa Shields Community project focuses on helping children cope with stress, anxiety, and depression, she said.
“You have to figure out a way to deal because sometimes boxing isn’t enough,” she said at the centennial celebration.
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