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By Levan Reid
/ CBS Boston
BOSTON – Jesse Setaro was a child of the foster care system and now that he’s an adult, he’s using his gym, North End Fitness, to help others in the same situation.
He entered the foster care system at a very young age.
“I was 2 years old when I was removed from my parents’ custody because they were both drug and alcohol addicts. I went to live with what’s called kinship care which is when you go to live with a relative,” he told WBZ-TV.
He spent 16 years in the system. After getting out and getting a degree in social work he became a licensed personal trainer. Now Jesse is primed to give back. He’s started a non-profit called Project F.
“There is no other gym in the country specifically meant for foster kids and orphans despite there being 400,000 in the system as of today,” Setaro said.
It’s a workout and training space for those in foster care and it’s being put together by someone who has walked in their shoes.
“The gym and fitness saved my life and what I want to do now is pay that forward and get kids after school, bring them to the gym, teach them how to lift weights., help them with their homework and just be that one consistent, positive male role model that these kids are lacking,” he said.
His passion to make the experiences better for the kids in the system now can be felt with every word.
“I think a big part of me feels like, if I don’t do something great with my adulthood, then I went through all that suffering as a child for nothing,” he told WBZ.
“I know what it’s like to go to bed wishing that somebody loved you or feeling like you were safe. All the things most kids take for granted, I know what it’s like to not have those things and I want to make sure that no kid has to go through what I went through.”
For more information, visit the gym’s Instagram page.
Levan Reid is a reporter for WBZ This Morning. He is also a veteran sports reporter for WBZ-TV.
First published on May 3, 2023 / 8:35 AM
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