A new program is underway at a non-profit gym on Erie's west side.

The Spearman Youth Development Center is working to make an impact in the lives of area youth.

Dozens of Erie kids started training this week at the Spearman Youth Development Center on west 17th street, in Erie.

Kids from as young as ten years old, up to college age, are connecting with trainers and mentors doing high-intensity circuit workouts, and weight training, “This is all about getting ready for next season, we’re here every day in the morning, while everybody's sleeping, we're in here working, he get us ready for the season,” said Jaheim Williams, a Junior year student and football player at Cathedral Prep. “We’re a family here, so it's pretty much all about the gym, working hard and getting better,” Williams continued.

Many of them are high school athletes.

The gym has been around quite a while, helping to turn out some top athletes from Erie.

But now it's a non-profit, allowing Director and Owner Steve Spearman to also connect with inner-city youth to give them the same opportunities, “we take them in, we give them a sound foundation of what we expect from them physically and mentally and then we want them to carry themselves a certain way and we'll do the rest,” said Spearman. “It's really a high-intensity gym, we're not sugar coating anything, so we're kind of tough on them, but at the end of the day when we sit in that stadium or that basketball arena and we sit back and watch these kids perform it's a great feeling,” Spearman said.

Elisha Pancoast has been directing some of the new programs happening at the center which has been developed primarily for young men, “We want to basically connect these boys with mentors to make sure they take care of their spiritual needs, any questions they have, there's a lot of things going on in the community and we want to protect our kids,” said Pancoast. “It's all about giving them positive things to do, and while they’re doing these positive things, it's developing them spiritually as well as physically, because we know that mind body and soul is very important, and health is wealth,” Pancoast continued.

Pancoast is hosting a camp next week, for young women as well.

To learn more, you can visit the Spearman Youth Development Center online.