CHICAGO -- Thursday marks 50 years since Title IX became law. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funding.
On this anniversary, the Biden administration is proposing the strengthening of protections for transgender students. The law has also had a profound effect on opportunities for women and girls in sports.
Now, one Chicago teen hopes to make a name for herself in the boxing ring.
"Boxing is therapy for me because it's like stress relief. When I'm having, like, a hard day and I come to the gym, I work out and when I leave the gym I feel so much better, like a weight lifted off my shoulders," said Melissa Herrera, a Chicago Youth Boxing Club boxer.
Herrera said she got into boxing when her father brought her and my siblings to see CYBC in late October 2019.
"I remember, like, the first moment, like, I came in," she recalled. "I saw this girl, this young girl. She was like hitting the speed bag and she was doing it well. I'm like, that's really cool."
"The more she was here, the more she got curious because watching the kids jump rope or watching people do double unders and little tricks. She started jump roping. From there, she started coming out of her shell. A little bit more talkative and started getting boxing a little bit more," said Angelica Arroyo, Chicago Youth Boxing Club program director. "I was like, oh, you have abilities that I did not see before, you know. So seeing her become athletic has been really rewarding to see."
You can watch Herrera's full story on "Our America: Fifty 50," a new special by ABC Owned Television. The special profiles young female athletes from across the country. It is available here or wherever you stream.