Homeless Teen Finds Outlet in Boxing

By KBJR News 1

November 15, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM CDT

Being the only drop-in center for homeless youth in all of Northern Minnesota is not only a huge undertaking, but an expensive one as well.

That's why Life House in Duluth has developed the Adopt-a-Kid program.

By highlighting a different young person every month, they hope to show people that with just a small monthly donation, they can help contribute to success stories.

We'll meet a few of these teens this week as Courtney Godfrey introduces us to those who are working to change their lives for the better.

We start with Shawn Fuller:

Shawn Fuller doesn't say much.

Because all that he has to say, he says through punches to a bag.

"I really don't try to focus on none of my problems once I come to the ring."

And for the nineteen year old, there's a lot to forget.

"I felt like I was heading to getting into trouble in Chicago."

Facing struggles and temptations, Shawn decided to leave his hometown, outside of Chicago, three months ago, and start over.

"I had to try something different."

His brother in Duluth offered him a place to stay. But when he got here, all he found was the charred remains of a home. He had no choice but to couch hop. Until, he found Life House.

Life House found him an apartment, a psychological outlet, and a new outlook on life.

"Guaranteed, guaranteed. He's the last guy here. The last guy here. Whenever I leave, it's always see you later Sean. It's really cool," says Sean's coach and owner of Jungle Boy Boxing Zach Walters.

Shawn's new outlet has become his second chance at life.

"It's a good reason to live a clean life. It's a good reason to stay out of trouble," says Zach who teamed up with Life House in hopes of helping to give kids another outlet, and a place where they can learn discipline and commitment.

Shawn is Zach's first athlete from Life House, and Zach says he sees a bright future for him.

"if he keeps training like he does, and keeps on going like he does, and work hard, he has the ability to go far in boxing."

Shawn says he boxes because it keeps him busy, but his coach says it has given him confidence.

Confidence that's coming in handy as Shawn picks up the pieces and builds an independent life.

"Everybody needs help," says Shawn. "I'll be OK. I'll be OK."

Shawn is currently preparing for his first match, and working with Life House to find part time work and start college classes.