CHICAGO — Girls are fighting outdated stereotypes, poor self confidence and preconceived ideas with a right hook at Saint Thomas School in Hyde Park.

“I just want every girl to know how much strength and power she has inside herself,” says Box United Founder, Mary Kate Vanecko.

Vanecko founded Box United in 2019, the only all girls boxing program in Chicago.

“Anytime someone looks at a young girl boxing really well it can instantly transform or change perceptions about what you think is possible in terms of how strong girls are or what you think girls can do,” says Vanecko.

More than 350 girls have found new inner strength through the ten week boxing program, finding their power and voice through a set of pink gloves.

A two punch approach, teaching fundamentals, followed by a second hit of self love. The second half of every session is dedicated to building mental health and wellness, through confidence building exercises.

“It makes me feel like a news day and not to worry so much about stuff that happens,” says Box United participant, Kennedi Carey.

Teaching girls to not knock their own strength but to wear it proudly.

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