Urban Fitness 911 helps at-risk youth attend college

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Urban Fitness 911 helps at-risk youth attend college
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Urban Fitness 911 helps at-risk youth adjust to college at Toni Kohn House.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Volunteers with a new non-profit are helping at-risk youth achieve a brighter future.

Urban Fitness 911 is a group providing a safe haven to young women who have overcome devastating childhood experiences.

"I grew up in foster care and my mother sold me for drugs when I was 8-months-old," said 19-year-old Jazmine Falls.

Just three weeks ago, life changed for Falls and six other young women with similar hardships.

They're now enrolled at Santa Monica Community College and living at the Toni Kohn House, a new non-profit, two-and-half-year program dedicated to giving at-risk youth a successful transition from high school to college.

"Just a month ago everything was different, so it's amazing that they swooped in and rescued us," student Kylee Wilson said.

The program is the brainchild Veronica Everett-Boyd, who created Urban Fitness 911 to help underserved high school students.

"My vision was to take a group of kids, put them in a house, give them everything they need, and see what happens," Everett-Boyd said.

One of Everett-Boyd's biggest supporters, 26-year-old Toni Kohn, made the boarding program possible.

She passed away suddenly in 2014 and her family decided they would help make the vision a reality.

"For us it's healing. It gives us meaning to not shut out the world and something good is coming of her passing," said Tessa Kohn, Toni's sister.

The group effort it took to bring the project together is not lost on the young women, who seem determined to succeed.

"They're my angels," student Saprina Howard said. "They're pushing me to be better and I'm going to be better because of them."