Published On: Mon, Apr 25th, 2011

‘Fitness in the Hood’ program to benefit Dixie Manor kids

By Skip Sheffield

BOCA RATON — It is no secret there is an epidemic of obesity among the youth of America. Just go to any school campus, fast food joint or shopping mall, and you’ll see the evidence.

Simon Carter has made fitness and nutrition a personal mission.

A PhD candidate in education (minor fitness science), Carter is a new team member of PROPEL (People Reaching Out to Provide Education & Leadership), a Boca Raton non-profit dedicated to the betterment of disadvantaged and at-risk youth.

Carter is also a professional group fitness instructor at Lifetime Athletic Club in Boca Raton. He is launching a new “Fitness in the Hood” program at Dixie Manor in the Pearl City section of Boca Raton. The target startup date is Saturday, April 23. Class will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and admission is free.

Simon Carter

“When you eat well and are physically fit, your mind is sharper,” says Carter, a former boxing champ and all-around athlete. “If you blew smoke and spilled alcohol on a computer it might still work, but not as well. The mind is a lot like that.”

Young people learn by example, and when presented with a persuasive, positive role model, they are more likely to pay attention and take the message to heart.

Carter says he got the message at the young age of 17, when his mother sent him from his home in the projects of Connecticut to live with an uncle in San Antonio, Texas.

“I was ignorant,” he admits. “But my mother saw the drugs and other bad things coming in our neighborhood. The turning point was when I met a couple of what I thought were young men at a life skills workshop. I was amazed to learn they were 55 and 60-years-old. I decided then and there, that whatever they were doing, I wanted to do it too.”

That meant a healthy vegetarian diet as well as physical exercise, running and sports training. Carter is his own best advertisement.

“If we can influence today’s youth to eat right and exercise smart, we will have accomplished our goal — a better life for them,” states Carter. “I know it’s been a better life for me. When I returned to Connecticut, most of the crowd I hung out with were in jail or on drugs. My mother was right.”

For more information about the program, call Simon Carter or Tolliver Miller at 561-955-8553, Simon Carter at 561-306-8452 or visit www.propelyourfuture.com

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