Virgil Zwicker was once a man walking his own path of destruction.
The Strikeforce fighter spent as much time in trouble as a youth as he did in school, bouncing in and out of jail for much of his life growing up on an Indian reservation in California.
But Zwicker was able to pick himself up, dust himself off and not only pick up the pieces of what was quickly becoming a broken life, but he was able to put it all back together again.
Now with a growing family of his own, Zwicker’s tale is one that could be simply told for inspiration, but that’s not good enough for the 30-year-old mixed martial artist who now wants to serve as an example of somebody who grew up wrong, but made things right.
While Zwicker has been working as a youth coordinator at his Indian reservation, recently he got the opportunity to speak in front of a group of young people that could truly relate to everything he had gone through.
At the Alamansor Academy in California, kids routinely join the program due to similar upbringings as Zwicker and seemingly walking down the same destructive path. The school’s job is to help lead them back in the right direction and at their recent graduation they invited Zwicker to come be the keynote speaker.
“When I first looked them up and checked them out I thought it was going to be strictly troubled youths, gangs, kids being locked up, but I would say probably only 20 to 30 percent of the kids were like that. The rest of them, there was a lot that had physical disabilities, autism, and a lot of them were not in trouble or anything. They basically told me that 90 percent of those kids are the worst of the worst in that area,” Zwicker told MMAWeekly.com.