OXNARD, CA — Teaching children boxing, kickboxing, fitness and nutrition is just part of Henry Castro's reason for founding his company's Yes You Can program. The CEO of Knockout International also founded the program to help children ages 11 to 16 of different backgrounds and economic levels learn basic business skills and become “great contributors to society.”

The eight-week program gives 16 children a feeling of teamwork, individual drive and respect for people, Castro said. Participants meet for two hours, three times a week. Each class includes a variety of topics, including how the body works, how boxing and kickboxing can maximize coordination skills, how to eat out or at home on a budget and how to overcome obstacles to a healthy lifestyle. Guest speakers and tutors also visit with the children, explaining the importance of balance when it comes to education, fun, work and life.

As part of their business training, graduates of the program meet with some of the program's corporate sponsors and go through a job interview process. That process involves filling out an application, shaking hands and answering questions. The process “leaves the youth with confidence and the basic tools to want more out of themselves and life,” Castro said.

The program is enrolling participants for its Feb. 28 program. By late summer, Castro hopes to expand the program.

Parents of participating children say the program has helped their children do better at home, Castro said. The key to the program is being a great influence in society not just in the ring, he said. “Kids have not missed one practice and they love it,” he said.