For a lot of our youth members, Lift For Life Gym is a place they can count on each and every day. It’s a place they can feel safe, receive a fresh meal, participate in activities every child should be able to enjoy, and most importantly somewhere they can create a future. Jerome is a personal testimony to our impact.  Jerome, age 17, has been coming to Lift For Life Gym for the past nine years. He’s followed in the footsteps of his older siblings who have all been members of LFLG. Jerome is the youngest of six kids, one sister and four brothers.

Ever since Jerome arrived at the Gym at the age of 8 he’s been a part of our Olympic Style Youth Weightlifting Team. He’s had many accomplishments over the years winning 60+ medals, numerous trophies and most recently becoming the number 1 ranked 17 & under weightlifter in the country! His most recent lifts are 127kg (280lbs) in the Snatch and 150kg (330lbs) in the Clean & Jerk. Jerome practices five to six times a week and continues to improve upon his skills in order to compete at such an elite level. Not only does weightlifting offer Jerome the opportunity to
learn discipline, how to work hard, how to set goals and dealing with both success and failure. It has also given him the opportunity to see the world! For many of us, seeing the ocean may not be a big deal but for our youth members it is. So many of them may never have the opportunity to leave the city, let alone travel to different parts of the country experiencing new sites and even traveling internationally.  In the past couple of years, Jerome has had the opportunity to travel to Thailand and Colombia, South America as a part of Team USA.  Lift For Life Gym and our weightlifting program have given Jerome and other kids those experiences.

When he’s not weightlifting, you can find Jerome at the Gym playing basketball, or working on his homework. Jerome will be a senior at Cleveland NJROTC Academy this fall and hopes to earn a college scholarship for weightlifting. The ultimate goal for Jerome and the other kids at Lift For Life Gym is not a world championship. Medals, trophies, records and travel come on the road out of the city.