Early on as Kung Fu instructors we realized the impact our school and it’s training had on it’s younger students. On a regular basis we saw children and adults transformed in various ways. Introverts became more outgoing. Children with low self-confidence grew into confident individuals allowing their personalities to blossom. Bullies learned respect and rid themselves of the self-esteem issues, which caused them to lash out as bullies. Children with learning disabilities learned focus and learned how to excel in their scholastic studies.
As instructors this was incredibly gratifying. Although the training had incredible benefits for all, we learned to spot the type of kids that benefited the most from it. When we were able to, we sponsored these kids and gave them free memberships to our training center. We usually made them “mirror cleaners” or something along those lines so that they felt they contributed to their own training. We found these kids to be extremely hard working and very appreciative.
Unfortunately, as a business, costs prohibited us from sponsoring these “at risk” children in the numbers we would have liked to. It just wasn’t feasible.
A few individuals and businesses that had witnessed the benefits came to us and asked if they could sponsor a few kids themselves. Of course we said yes and since we already had a list of deserving children it was an immediate success. Those sponsored kids have been remarkable. We’ve seen tremendous growth in them and know it will have a long-term effect on their lives.
This was the birth of the Sheng Chi Foundation. We've since focused on expanding our services to help as many individuals as possible. We've offered both group and private instruction to fit the needs of these youth.
Obviously there is a need. The Valley Springs area and the new areas we service are full of youth’s without direction. As our community grows it is unlikely that this need will diminish. The goal of the Sheng Chi Foundation will be to meet these needs. “To teach a child is to touch the future”. Changing the life direction of just one child is a very worthwhile endeavor.
Recently we have had an influx of these youths. They seem to find us knowing somehow that what we have to offer is their way out of the cycle. This is very likely due to the growth of our community and the socioeconomic boundaries that are quickly being drawn.