Stories from the Mat: “Level Ground helped me see through my anger”

Level Ground MMA

My name is Alisandra. I am 16 years old and work with Level Ground as a Program Assistant. In the last 1.5 years, Level Ground has impacted me personally in a very significant way, opening up so many doors for me and my brother who is also in the program. Since I was a child, I had to watch my father go in and out of prison. I had a rocky relationship with my mother, and often felt like nobody cared about me. As a teenager, I suffered from depression, occasionally to the point of self-harm. My anger grew stronger, and realized that something had to change to avoid hurting myself or others.

Level Ground MMA

Level Ground has helped me see through my anger and the scars on my arms by allowing me to release my emotions in a positive way through Jiu Jitsu. It has shown me that I have strength on and off that mat to overcome life’s challenges. I now have a support system that offers warmth, joy, and opportunity. They help me see what I am capable of. Level Ground has given me a mentor that has helped me build a resume and a variety of professional skills. I have also been given a job where I get to teach Jiu Jitsu to middle school students and work toward a certification as a Fitness Instructor. Additionally, I take photos for Level Ground. In the future, I want to become a photographer, and use the lessons I’ve learned at Level Ground to make a change in society and the outlook on poverty, violence, and the less fortunate. I want to inspire people to change these problems and become more considerate of those affected by them. Thank you for helping me get there.


October 26th, 2015

Posted In: Uncategorized

One Comment

  • Your degree of self-awareness and determination to self-improve are both inspirational and serve as a great example to others. Congratulations on being YOU, and continue to pursue the best version of yourself.


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