Local nonprofit supports struggling teens –

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — A full-time business has added a nonprofit to help struggling children create a better future.

“I promised my little sister a week before she died that I would get back into coaching, help out, you know, youth and stuff like that. I gave her my word,” said George Rivera, the CEO of Wartime Fitness Warriors.

Wartime Fitness Warriors will remain a fully operational business, but it has also just become a non-profit organization offering a program for youth in the area who may need structure and role models.

“We have a different approach, a 10-step program that helps release that anger, you know you’re getting mentally stronger. Help deal with things. Help deal with things. You know, we just take every step to make them stronger,” Rivera added.

He says the gym has a unique approach.

“Basically, we are starting a movement. There is no other gym, no other program, no other facility like this in the world,” Rivera said.

He says something this program will offer is a standard. Rivera will know how every child is doing in school and will insist that their education comes first.

Pascal Justh, an exchange student at the University of Virginia, says he found community in wartime when he was away from home in Germany.

“When you come here you know you’re part of a family, I realized that quickly,” he said.

Justh goes to the gym every day and feels his confidence and strength, not just physically but mentally, grow every time he enters the building.

Now this non-profit organization has a long way to go. She will leave her current building and move to a larger but very run down building.

“So, as you can see, I’m taking a leap of faith. We need it. From the ground up, we need locker rooms, bathrooms, we’re going to have equipment, we want to have classrooms for the kids,” Rivera said.

It will also offer free memberships for first responders and law enforcement.


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