NORRISTOWN, PA —Two men who grew up on the mean streets learned the hard way how to defend themselves and live productive lives, and they want to help the young people of Norristown find an easier path to a productive life.
For Dwayne Fletcher, 41, of South Philadelphia, being shot in the head when he was 23 was the turning point.
For Clayton Kellum, 42, of the King of Prussia, spending 15 years behind bars for selling crack was the wake-up call.
They have long since turned their lives around and are successful entrepreneurs who run fitness programs.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Norristown Police Chief Derrick Wood invited Kellum and Fletcher to come up with an inspirational fitness program to encourage Norristown youth to end armed violence.
“Get Out And Grind,” a free workout program, is 6-8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday at the sports grounds of Eisenhower Science & Technology Leadership Academy, 1601 Markley St., Norristown.
The program is for ages 12 to 21 and is open to the public.
Here is the program :
- Monday: Kellum will provide high-intensity workouts to show participants how to overcome obstacles. Kellum owns Built Fitness, a personal training and fitness program in Downingtown.
- Tuesday: Fletcher will provide a boxing motivational program, motivating participants to fight whatever is holding them back. Fletcher owns GunzDown Glovezup, a Philadelphia-based program that teaches young people how to put down guns and pick up boxing gloves.
- Wednesday: Fletcher and Kellum will come together to train attendees to push the boundaries of change for the better.
Fletcher said that when he was growing up he was a big guy who got into trouble and got out of it. He said there was a lot of gun violence in Philadelphia.
After being treated for a gunshot wound to the head when he was just 23, he decided it was time to give back to the community.
Shortly after, he started his nonprofit to give boxing lessons to underserved communities to teach that there are other ways to deal with anger than gun violence.
“You have to think,” he said. “We have to work together in the community.”
Fletcher said he walked up and down hills and up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.
Fletcher said he hopes to train kids and adults in boxing.
Kellum grew up in Coatesville, where he was an athlete. He went to Lincoln University, where he was a track star and All-American athlete.
But in his sophomore year, Kellum was arrested for selling crack cocaine.
He was later sentenced by a federal judge to a mandatory 20 years in prison, but was released in 15.
In prison, Kellum said, he became religious and began planning ahead to become a sports coach. He was released in February 2014.
He has since opened a training facility, Built Fitness, 123 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown. The facility offers fitness and weight loss workouts for people of all ages.
Kellum said her goal is to give back to her community.
“Fortunately for me, I had the chance to turn my life around,” he said. “You can go through life and have problems that you can overcome. It’s about maximizing every opportunity.”