LANSDALE, Pa -- "I'll take every single punch for these guys," said Maliq Harris. "Boxing is more about teaching discipline, self-awareness, encouragement. It's totally different than what people see on TV."
Harris sought out boxing as a personal fitness tool two decades ago. But the hobby quickly turned into a passion through which he can give back to the local community.
"I was a child who grew up without a father due to some drug and alcohol abuse," he said. "So for me right now, what I'm doing is working with kids with ADD, ADHD, Parkinson's, any disability, confidence, bullying, anything."
Harris, who also had a learning disability as a child, uses boxing to mentor kids who have any type of challenge they need to overcome. He converted his two-car garage into King's Corner Boxing Studio to provide one-on-one instruction for youth and adults.
Gavin McNichol, a 16-year-old high school student, was experiencing bullying before he stepped into King's Corner.
"He definitely taught me a lot since I started coming here," said McNichol. "He got me really good at, like, just knowing how to defend myself, how to have self-control in, like, a situation. You don't always have to fight to resolve, like, an argument."
Another student, 13-year-old Nicholas Koren, has seen growth over the last two years as a boxer. His mom, Robin, sees it every day.
"He has ADHD and Tourette's, so it has always been harder for him to be able to concentrate," she said. "From the very beginning, he was happy, excited, it was something new, he got out his energy, he just loved it."
Maliq Harris has not only helped kids in the boxing ring. He and his wife have adopted seven children out of foster care. Combined with their five biological kids, they have a total of 12.
"We love children. My wife and I both had a little trouble in our childhood, so something we wanted to do was have a big family," said Harris, who was inspired by his mother and grandfather to give a fantastic life to each of their kids.
With King's Corner Boxing Studio, Harris will continue inviting many more kids into his home to learn life skills they will never forget.
Boxing instructor, father of 12, builds confidence for kids
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