Professional News

UK Alum Named CNN Hero for Helping Chicago Youth 'Fight for Success'

Jamyle Cannon (pictured far left) has been named a CNN Hero. Photo courtesy of The Bloc Facebook page.
Jamyle Cannon (pictured far left) has been named a CNN Hero. Photo courtesy of The Bloc Facebook page.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 3, 2019) A University of Kentucky alumnus is receiving national attention for his remarkable efforts to help at-risk youth in Chicago, Illinois.

Jamyle Cannon has been named a CNN Hero. The television special was created to honor individuals who make extraordinary contributions to humanitarian aid.

In 2010, Cannon graduated with a bachelor's degree in social work from the UK College of Social Work (CoSW). Today, he's using his troubled past to create a better future for hundreds of children.

Cannon's story will move you. According to a recent CNN article, he frequently got into fights as a teenager. During his time at UK, Cannon finally found a way to confront, control and channel his anger — he took up competitive boxing.

In 2012, Cannon moved from Lexington to Chicago and helped found a charter school. When he decided to start a small boxing club, Cannon laid the foundation for what is now his nonprofit program, The Bloc.

According to CNN, Chicago's homicide rate outnumbers both New York and Los Angeles — America's two largest cities. The Bloc, now in three schools, aims to reduce that staggering statistic.

The program uses boxing as a hook to get kids in the door and then provides them with tutoring and mentorship. According to The Bloc website, "Boxing attracts teens least likely to join tutoring and mentoring groups. Some are prone to aggression, while others want to build confidence or master a new skill."

You can read more about Cannon's method for success and how it's making a difference in the lives of students here.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.