NOMIS Youth Boxing Diversion Program Gives Youth a Second Chance

ABC News in Washington, D.C., filmed a segment at NOMIS Youth Center that highlighted a program to help youth who were convicted of crimes. The program allows them to spend time in NOMIS instead of going to juvenile jail where they learn the discipline of boxing. The student in the TV segment visited the gym every day and his grades at school improved.

“Mr. Simon has been that great role model I needed as a child, especially as a black man. He mentored me and helped me make life-changing decisions and mature from boyhood to manhood. I think the only way I can repay him is to win a world title. So that’s my next goal.”

Shaka Williams , NOMIS Youth Center Participant and Mentor

“Robo Back*, your great work with our children through NOMIS Boxing and NOMIS Youth Network makes true champions of us all! God Bless. Your ring announcer, Henry Discombobulating Jones.”

*Mr. Jones’ nickname for Robert Simon III when he played semi-pro football with the Washington Chiefs from 1995 through 1999.

Henry Jones, MSW Prominent African American ring announcer and author of "It's More Than a Notion"

Our Neighborhood

NOMIS Boxing Community Center is located in Ward 7, PSA 507. With few places locally for youth to experience healthy recreation, support, and socialization, they are at risk for several challenges, including: 

  • Gang and crew activities
  • Violence and criminal activities
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use
  • Risky sexual behavior 

NOMIS Boxing Community Center provides a safe space for youth to gain membership and a sense of belonging, workout and play pool, enjoy healthy snacks, and socialize with their peers.

Youth Gain Positive Outcomes at NOMIS Youth Center

NOMIS Youth Network has helped our youth achieve the following outcomes over the years:

  • Better health and wellbeing. Our youth feel better and avoid obesity.
  • Personal goals. Our youth gain the benefits of hard work, discipline, and regular training.
  • Reduced violence. Our youth learn healthy ways to deal with frustration.
  • Self discipline. Our youth benefit from having structure, rules, and communication with coaches and their peers.
  • Self respect. Our youth learn respect for themselves and for others.

NOMIS Youth Network History

What began as a dream at Midland Lutheran College between 1984 and 1989 became a reality in October 2004. D.C. native Robert Simon III, a behavioral science major with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, achieved his goal to open a nonprofit program to help D.C. youth. He called it NOMIS (Simon spelled backwards).

Historic D.C. Footnote — An Auspicious Beginning

In the spring of 1999, Mr. Simon began boxing training at D.C.’s storied Finley’s Gym. It was known for four decades in the boxing community as a no-nonsense, old-school boxing gym. Everyone wanted to workout there and almost everyone did — Muhammad Ali, Bobby Foster, Sugar Ray Leonard, Holley Mims, Simon Brown, Maurice Blocker, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson and Mike Tyson.


As Mr. Simon trained to achieve his far fetched dream of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic boxing team, he became friends with Mr. Finley. When he retired in 2001, Mr. Finley offered the gym to Mr. Simon. After three years obtaining a certificate of occupancy and renovating the location to make it appropriate for young people, Mr. Simon opened the doors of the first NOMIS Boxing Community Center on October 30, 2004.

Help Our Youth Achieve More

You Can Help D.C. Youth Reach Their Full Potential — in the Ring and in Life