FLINT (WJRT)- (02/12/18)- Boxer Claressa Shields is known for her strength in the ring, but it's her message of faith and survival, that she says is her most powerful weapon.
One she shared with her hometown of Flint, Monday night.
"Growing up in Flint is not easy." said Flint native and Two Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Claressa Shields.
Claressa Shields pulls no punches when she talks of her life before boxing entered it.
"I grew up poor, you know my mom was addicted to alcohol, at the time, it's just a hard upbringing. I never had food, I was also sexually abused and the only way I got over that and made it through that was that I found God, but what you guys have to understand, is that it's a process." Shields said
The two time Olympic gold medal winner was in town to speak members of Young Life of Flint. A faith-based, non-profit organization, working to help young people in the community, to better themselves.
"She is inspirational to young people because she is progressing out of where many these young people are and so I think she is an amazing role model." said Janice Jones, Young Life of Flint.
Making a difference in her community is something Shields strives to do everyday. By showing people it is possible to achieve your dreams, despite where you come from.
A message the audience of mostly teens, received loud and clear.
"I like how she said that we had to forget the bullies, leave the bad people in our life and move on, i like that." said Miyaena Andrews, Flint
"Everybody thinks Flint Michigan is such a bad place and she made it to be a wonderful beautiful woman, to be a boxer." Diamond Hughes, Flint
"I want to tell the kids here how to do it because it's not easy figure out, it took me a long time, it took me a couple of falls here and there, but I figured out the route to be successful and to be great and that's what I want to let them know, it may be hard, but here go some knowledge for you." Shields said