Your House Boxing & Community Club offers a positive and encouraging "home away from home" where youth and young adults aged 12-24 in South Seattle come to learn and grow as individuals and community members. YHBCC provides its participants with boxing training, educational assistance, mentoring/counseling, social and life skill development, and opportunities to engage with their communities by getting involved and giving back through regular community service. Programming and interventions are individualized to address the diverse social, behavioral, and educational needs of each participant in a single, community-based location. All services are provided free of charge. Boxing training is not only an excellent workout and outlet for frustration, but it also serves as a means to teach discipline, respect, responsibility, and teamwork.
YHBCC’s core values include DILIGENCE (the value of hard work), OWNERSHIP (the importance of personal responsibility), INTEGRITY (the value of having strong moral principles), and TEAMWORK (the importance of working together).
YHBCC was developed to meet the needs of vulnerable youth and provide a safe place to develop and execute a life plan. YHBCC seeks to achieve its goals through a three house system: boxing, education and community engagement. Each “house” provides a point of emphasis for youth enrolled in the YHBCC program. Students must fulfill commitments to education and community while learning discipline through boxing and training their minds and bodies. The three house system was developed by YHBCC founder, Chris Cates-Lopez. Chris based the program model on the tools, resources, and support that helped him make the transformation from life in the streets and gangs to a productive member of society.
A key component of the YHBCC program is the use of evidence-based practices to shape individualized plans. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst will oversee the collection of data and regularly tailor individual programs for each student based on the student’s particular circumstances and needs. By monitoring the success of various types of interventions for each student, YHBCC gives each student the greatest chance of success.This approach sets YHBCC apart from other programs.
YHBCC not only provides in-house support and programs using evidence-based practices but also collaborates with other agencies and programs to make sure participants have access to the relevant resources.
The sport of boxing provides a focal point for YHBCC, serving as a way to motivate participants and to provide key tools—such as discipline and accountability—that can be used in all aspects of life. Boxing emphasizes the importance of both mental and physical fitness, and replaces aggression with focus, patience, and self-respect. Each participant trains at his or her own pace. The ability to train in the “sweet science” is part of an exchange between YHBCC and its participants, with each participant making commitments to educational progress and community service.
Education is critical to maturity and achievement and is one of our fundamental values at YHBCC. We place great emphasis on ensuring our participants are motivated to learn and achieve. Each YHBCC participant must commit to making educational progress, and individualized goals are set based on each participant’s own unique circumstances. Grades and school attendance are monitored on an ongoing basis and homework assistance and tutoring are provided on-site. YHBCC programming emphasizes the importance of social and behavioral education in order to help our youth become positive and responsible community members. In doing this, staff evaluate the specific needs of each participant and utilize evidence-based practices to help them develop and attain both short- and long-term life and career goals.
YHBCC programming aims to instill the importance of giving back and making our communities stronger through mutual support and effort. Through community service, we encourage the concept of helping ourselves and others through change in areas where improvements are needed. Each YHBCC participant must commit to engaging in direct service to the community and has opportunities to participate in other community activities and events, such as team dinners, attendance at local boxing events, and cultural activities.
History of YHBCC
YHBCC is the result of one person’s inspired vision and the collaboration of many people to make that vision a reality for the sake of our youth.
YHBCC was created to meet the needs of our youth by providing a safe place to develop and execute a life plan. Founder and Executive Director Chris Cates-Lopez developed the YHBCC “three house system” based on the tools, resources, and community support that helped Chris emerge from gang life to become a productive member of his community. The goal of YHBCC is to provide that same opportunity to all children in our community.
Chris brought together a number of people to make this dream a reality. YHBCC was formed by numerous board members who supported Chris’s vision for our children, with assistance from the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine to found the organization, and with support from YHBCC’s former fiscal sponsor, Seattle Neighborhood Group. YHBCC is now represented by Joe Grube of the law firm Ricci Grube and Breneman, PLLC. Chris also enlisted the services of Pete Sheehy, YHBCC's Director of Boxing, Greg Haugen, a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame and a former Trainer at YHBCC, and Christina Flevaris, Board Certified Behavior Analyst and YHBCC’s current Executive Director. In the fall of 2012, YHBCC formed a partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Associated Recreation Council to begin providing services in the Rainier Beach beginning in 2013. Since then, YHBCC has been operating year-round out of the Rainier Beach Community Center. We are so thankful for all of the wonderful support that we have received throughout the community and look forward to future partnerships and community collaboration.
Safety and Confidentiality
YHBCC cares about its participants and will strive to provide a safe environment that fosters intellectual development, physical health, maturation, and positive social development. Our staff will treat each participant with care and respect. At the same time, participants and their parent(s)/guardian(s) must appreciate the inherent risks of injury in the sport of boxing, and other related risks in various group settings. Thus, all YHBCC participants must complete and submit a Waiver Form [link] acknowledging and accepting these risks.
YHBCC appreciates and respects the importance of privacy for our participants. Information received during our application process is reviewed only by our admissions staff and solely for the purpose of evaluating candidacy in the YHBCC Program. Thereafter, records and other information received by YHBCC is reviewed only by our programming staff and solely for the purpose of developing individualized programming and evaluating the participant’s progress.
YHBCC treats all personal information of each participant as highly confidential, accessible only to limited persons and for specific purposes, and will not disclose any such information unless required by law.
Each one of our employees and volunteers has completed and submitted a form acknowledging the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of each participant’s personal information.
While locked up in King County Jail, Chris Cates-Lopez was inspired to turn his life away from crime and enter the legal profession. Seeing his children before a court appearance, while in a KCJ jumpsuit and covered in tattoos, Chris had a moment of clarity. He feared his children (3 and 6 at the time) would follow in his footsteps. He made a bargain with his lawyer, promising to turn his life around if he could get a light sentence.
As soon as Chris was released from jail he used his GI Bill benefits (from his time in the United States Marine Corps) to enroll in the Edmonds Community College paralegal program. While in school Chris volunteered 3 days a week with the King County Bar Association's Housing Justice Project while working full time for different restaurants on the night shift. The support that Chris received from members of his community inspired him to work harder. His hard work and dedication at the Housing Justice Project led to Chris being offered a job as an administrative assistant for the King County Bar Association. Chris completed his paralegal degree while working at KCBA and was promoted to Program Manager, running the Future of the Law Institute at KCBA.
While working with youth in the Future of the Law Program, Chris decided to work on forming a non-profit for youth in gangs and youth in danger of entering a gang, a lifestyle he once lived. He designed a program based on the elements that he knew helped him get his life back on track, using boxing, education, and community service.That program is YHBCC.
Christina Lucente Flevaris is passionate about helping children both systematically and empathically, using scientifically proven methods.
Christina was born into a large family in Arlington, Massachusetts, and grew up enjoying sports—including ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer—with strong interests in school and in her community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and public policy from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, and then spent 3 years at the New England Center for Children (NECC) working with children severely afflicted with autism and various other developmental disabilities. During her time at NECC, Christina studied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Therapy and obtained a Master’s degree in special education at Simmons College. Christina then moved to Seattle with her husband and began providing in-home behavior therapy to children and adolescents with autism in the greater Seattle area.
Christina also earned Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis and obtained a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Christina is excited to combine research-based principles from the fields of behavior analysis and forensic psychology in applying her skills and expertise to the YHBCC three house program. She has been boxing since 2012 and loves the sport. Christina recently won her debut amateur boxing fight and is excited to share the insight she gained from her experience with YHBCC's aspiring competitive boxers. Christina seeks to provide an empathic and structured environment for all YHBCC participants!
Director of Boxing
Pete Sheehy has nearly a decade of experience as a boxing trainer and has devoted much of his life to working with youth in need, in classroom, residential, and recreational settings. At YHBCC, Pete brings these passions together in his role as Director of Boxing.
Pete was born and raised in New Jersey but has lived in Washington since 1992. He is a lifelong boxing fan who developed a desire to train and compete as an adult. After moving from Seattle to Spokane for graduate school in 2005, Pete joined the Spokane Boxing gym, where he trained and sparred with several pro boxers. He competed in “Toughman” fights and acted as an assistant coach to youth amateur boxers in the gym. Since 2007 Pete has also trained adults for general fitness and weight loss, and he runs the Graham Hill Boxing Club for 3rd-5th graders at Graham Hill Elementary School in south Seattle.
Pete now serves as Director of Boxing at YHBCC. He holds master’s degrees in Special Education and Creative Writing. He has also worked for Seattle Public Schools since 2003 as a special education assistant, and worked at the adolescent drug treatment program at Ryther Child Center from 2004-2010.
John Chemeres is a native of Seattle who has been surrounded by boxing for most of his life. His father, George Chemeres, a local legend in the boxing scene, trained professional fighters and ran the Cherry Street Boxing Gym in downtown Seattle. John grew up training with local boxing greats such as Pete Rademacher, Eddie Cotton, and Greg Haugen. John brings many years of knowledge and experience to the Club and we are thrilled to have him on our team!
Abdurahman Omer (Abdi)
Coach Abdi joined YHBCC in January 2017 and has been a great asset to our team. Originally from Ethiopia, Abdi was a boxer for the National Team in his home country. He later spent 14 years in Germany. While there, he underwent formal training in the Martial Art Wing Tsun. Abdi continued his trainer instruction becoming a certified boxing fitness instructor at Box and Burn in California, as well as taking boxing training classes in Arizona. Abdi hopes to become a professional boxing fitness trainer. Not only does he have great knowledge and many years of experience, he exudes positivity and warmth, making him an exceptional coach and mentor to our youth. We are thrilled to have him on board!
How to apply
YHBCC provides year-round services out of the Rainier Beach Community Center, Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 6:00 pm. The program services youth between the ages of 12 and 24 years old. All applicants must complete and submit an Application Form and a Waiver Form. Prospective participants under 18 years of age must have their parent(s)/guardian(s) complete a Parent Consent Form and the Waiver Form.
The Application Form requires participants to provide background information and includes a questionnaire that will be reviewed by admissions staff for the purpose of evaluating candidacy in the program.
The Waiver Form ensures that participants and their parent(s)/guardian(s) appreciate and accept the risks involved in boxing and similar activities.
HOW TO DONATE
Donations to YHBCC are tax-deductable.
Monetary donations to YHBCC can be made through Paypal or by check or money order!
Donations of boxing equipment, volunteer services, or any other non-monetary donations can be made by contacting YHBCC directly.
To donate via check/money order:
Your House Boxing and Community Club
145 28th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
YHBCC THANKS OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS
YHBCC not only provides in-house programs, but we also we also coordinate with other agencies and groups to further the mission of supporting our youth and improving our community.
If you are interested in partnering with YHBCC, please contact Executive Director Christina Flevaris at (781) 454-5437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
YHBCC staff are happy to answer any questions!
M/T/W/Th Homework Support:
3:30PM - 4:15PM
M/W Boxing Practice:
4:00PM - 6:00PM
T/TH Boxing Practice:
4:00PM - 5:45PM