A 12-year-old girl has been named Albany County’s "Citizen of the Month.”
Last Thursday at the Quail Street Boxing Gym in Albany, Jadah Robinson was honored by County Executive Dan McCoy. Robinson is the 2017 USA National Junior Olympic Champion in boxing. She is also No. 1 in her weight class in the country, and a big fan of pro boxer Floyd Mayweather and Claressa Shields, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 at age 17. "That's like where mostly I get my boxing from because, because I like watching them, and as I watch them I learn their techniques," says Robinson.
Her mom Sheba Brown says as a small child Jadah was fascinated by pugilism. "When Jadah was 5 years old we brought Jadah to the gym, and when she got here she wanted to start that day. And they said you can't start ‘til tomorrow and from the day she came she believed that she would go pro, she said 'Mom, this is what I wanna do.’"
Sam Bunch has been a trainer at the gym for over 30 years. He's been Robinson's coach for the last three, and says he knows a champion when he sees one. "Most kids reach out and they have a dream about winning something or doing something, and sometimes we get a chance to succeed at things that we dream of doing. She has an opportunity to fulfill one of her dreams, in which she won the Junior Olympics."
Robinson says she'd like to inspire her peers to join the gym... "I wanna be a good role model for a lotta girls, you know, because there's other girls that are out here on the streets and on corners and stuff but, what I can do is try to put a girl in here and be able not just to box, they don't gotta box, at least like work out and get off the street."
Robinson took up a new sport a year ago: basketball. She plays on the Albany City Rocks team. Gerald Malcom is coach. "In basketball, if we have 12, she may be number 12. But in boxing she's No. 1 in the country. The players also feed off her because they've never met anybody who was No. 1 in the country in anything. So that gives them the drive to work even harder."
Brown says her daughter sees great advantages beyond the boxing ring. "She understands that boxing is widespread. Promotion. You can open up stores to sell the gear. So there's so many different avenues to do something positive other than drugs and prostitution and teenage pregnancy. You know she's kinda grabbed a hold of it
County Executive McCoy says citizen of the month Robinson is an inspiration to all. "It's about a 12-year-old girl that's into a predominately male world of boxing. To show to women when we fight about women's equality and pay and their rights in the workforce. She's breaking into a field that women usually don't. And at 12 years old she's settin' the stage on fire, so she's an inspiration to her peers here in Albany and the Capital District and throughout the whole nation, showing that if you do hard work, that you can do anything you wanna do."