We live in an age where girls are no longer deemed by the majority to be weak and helpless creatures. (Let’s ignore those who still hold on to silly preconceptions.) We know girls can run fast, hit hard, and throw punches just as good as the next guy–-and sometimes even better. But what about those girls who show those guys how to run fast, hit hard, and throw a good jab?
Meet Gloria Peek, a.k.a. Mama in the boxing ring. (Yes, we said boxing.)
Peek is a 64 year-old boxing coach and recreational advisor at the Norfolk’s Barraud Park Boxing Center in Virginia. She’s already made history as the first female boxing coach in the Olympics, standing ringside when Claressa Shields won a gold medal as middleweight champ in 2012––the first year women were allowed to box in the games.
These days, she dedicates her life to serving the kids in the Norfolk area. They may come from the rougher parts of town, but Peek maintains a high standard in her gym, requiring her kids to keep a 2.7 GPA in order to train. Only a select few are chosen out of her waiting list of 300 students.
“As I got older I began to believe that I was put here to work with kids,” she says. “That is my God-given gift, to give as much as I can.”
Her big heart and generosity has literally turned around the lives of these children. You’ll be truly inspired about her story, coming from a rough upbringing, enduring a four-year stint in the Navy, and defying the odds set against her just for being female. Box on, Mama!
Know someone you’d like to nominate for this series? Tell us in the comments!