The idea for Fighting Chance began in a boxing gym. Megan Schmittauer met three extraordinary boys at the Punch House in Norwood in 2014. At the time, Aj (14), EJ (12) and Tyrik (15) were training every day. Their workout regimens were so disciplined and the number of pull-ups they could do was impressive. Megan took notice and began talking to the boys. Aj, EJ and Tyrik were eager to describe their workouts, but were more eager to receive gum from this inquisitive fellow boxer. Megan was notorious for carrying gum and the boys were notorious for wanting some! After a few months, Megan started going to their tournaments and became even more impressed with the boys' abilities. They were strong, disciplined and driven. They showed incredible promise. Eventually, their friendship grew and Megan began to mentor the boys outside of the gym. In February of 2015, the boys relocated to Real Deal Boxing Club in Mount Healthy and Megan went along with them. It is there she developed the idea of using boxing and mentorship to reach the youth of Cincinnati by ways of a group called, "Fighting Chance."
Fighting Chance received its 501(c)3 certification on March 31, 2015. At the time, there were 8 boys in the program. Today, the program has touched more than 60 lives. In September 2016, the program will open in Over-the-Rhine through a partnership with Cincinnati Golden Gloves.