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March 21, 2012 / charityprofiles

The Truth About “The Truth”

Brandon “The Truth” Vera was born to a Filipino father and an Italian-American mother. He grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, his hometown. He was an excellent wrestler while studying at Lake Taylor High School. His athletic excellence earned him a four-year athletic scholarship to Old Dominion University.

Two and a half years into his studies at the University, Vera realized that college was not for him. He enlisted for the US Air Force. There, he joined the wrestling team. He trained at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. An accident in 1999 cut short his military wrestling career when he was operated for a shred ligament in the right elbow. Unable to move his right arm, Vera was discharged from the USAF.

Vera is a superstar in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He made his octagon debut on October 3, 2005. His most convincing win was when he stopped former heavyweight champion Frank Mir in just 69 seconds.

Mixed martial arts has taught Vera hard work and discipline. He wanted to share the valuable lessons he learned from the sport so he created a non-profit program called Kids for Truth.

Kids for Truth is an after-school program where kids are being rewarded with an opportunity to be a part of activity-based life skills and team building programs designed to enhance the participants’ self confidence and self esteem. Kids will also have the chance to participate in community service projects.

Participants in Vera’s Kids for Truth are handpicked by their teachers. The minimum criteria to qualify for the program are as follows:

  • Achieve and maintain a grade Point average of at least 2.5
  • Letter from the parents signifying request and approval to have their child join the program
  • Letter from the teacher or community leader endorsing the participant
  • Involve in community service at least 8 hours per month

For three times a week, Kids for Truth meet at Alliance Gym after school. Healthy snacks are served after each participant completes his homework and training sessions.


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