YUMA, Ariz. – The Bully-Rehab Awareness Gym also known as “B.R.A.G.” is a non-profit organization that turns bullies into productive, positive members of our community, and the bullied in to strong, confident individuals.
The owner if B.R.A.G, Carlos Flores, tells us his story and the start of his program.
“I retired from MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), I was a professional MMA fighter and I grew up being bullied. So I started this because I remembered what my childhood was like, and I always wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. Started in a little garage, and I brought in kids and just started helping them out, showing them techniques and showing them moves and I started noticing it started helping with their confidence and their self esteem,” said Flores.
During the course of the gym’s start, they hit a few bumps in the road, having to close its doors, but after tremendous help from the community and Habitat for Humanity, they are back and better than ever.
Frank Carrillo, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity says, “Mr. Flores came to me and says we need a place. He explained to me what he was doing. He had no place to go; the kids were distraught because they left their home. And I told him, I’ll take care of it for you. I think what he’s doing is a very positive thing for this community, its helps the community grow. It also shows people in the community that if you pull together, there nothing you can’t do.”
Yuma County residents couldn’t be happier about the program and how it’s changing their kid’s lives for the better.
Bridget Herrera, a mother of two Autistic children who attend B.R.A.G says, “They have both come so far. Neither Sophia nor Elijah would speak to anybody, look at anybody. Now they walk around with pride. They talk to everyone and they’ve come so far.”
“I went to the school in Brawley; I got bullied when I was in kindergarten. After first grade I started doing ‘Judo’ and it helped me and then nobody bullied me anymore,” said Damien Martus, one of the young jujitsu fighters at B.R.A.G.
Carlos says there’s no better feeling. He concluded, “It’s a blessing, it’s a blessing to have the amazing people that I’ve helped in over the ten year process. Can’t put a price on it.”
For more information about B.R.A.G go to: http://www.bragincyuma.org/