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Peter Westbrook Foundation
G.P.O Box 7554
New York, NY 10116
PH: 212 459-4538
Fencing saved Peter Westbrook's life and he's using it today to save the lives of disadvantaged youth in New York City.
Living in poverty and violence in the housing projects in Newark, New Jersey, it was Peter's mother who encouraged him to channel his aggression into the art of fencing at age 14. His fencing skills not only provided Peter with 13 US National titles, three Pan American Game gold medals and a Bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics, but a path away from drugs and street crimes.
"Fencing saved my life. If it wasn't for fencing I'd probably would have been dead by now, like many of my friends and that's why I knew it would work for our young children in the inner city."
In February 1991, Peter used his own money and built the Peter Westbrook Foundation to teach fencing to inner-city children.
Besides fencing, The Foundation offers children structure, teaches discipline, and encourages academic success by providing a tutoring program and a monthly essay writing contest. "They realize the dedication they put in fencing, they can accomplish anything they put into school."
Three members of Peter's program are part of this year's Olympic Fencing Team — Good luck to Keeth Smart, Erin Smart, and Akhenaten Spencer-El in Sydney!
"People say that this is a fencing program to create Olympians, but I look at my program as something different. The most successful part of our program is getting the kids to be model citizens, getting the kids to be something better in life, that's what we do at the Foundation. Creating Olympians is just the icing on the cake for me."
Published on September 15, 2000