In 1979, Andy was just fourteen when he began acting out.
“I was terrified of high school, I don’t really know why,” Andy confided. “It didn’t help that I wasn’t the nicest kid on the block; I had a healthy temper!” When Andy enrolled in Lutherwood’s Day Treatment program to learn better ways of coping, he had no idea that it would be a life-changing experience.
“Lutherwood was a different kind of school; we went camping, played hockey, learned things and got the tools we needed to make our lives better,” Andy recalled. “The staff took the time to figure out what we liked and used it to give us something productive to focus on.”
Andy recounted a time when he got into a fight with another student. Rather than punish him, his teacher Wilf Dippel, who also happened to be a five-time golden glove boxing champion, noticed Andy’s potential for a positive anger outlet. Soon after, the Kitchener Police Association sponsored Andy to attend their boxing club. Nervous to go by himself, he invited his best friend Lennox Lewis to go with him.
Andy and Lennox started training together, and Andy still brags about the time he beat Lennox in a boxing match, years before Lennox went on to become a professional worldchampion boxer. “I even made an appearance in Lennox’s documentary film and am mentioned in two of his books!” Andy said proudly. “I like to think I helped him get into boxing, and we still keep in touch, we’re still friends today.”
“Boxing was a big part of my life,” Andy concluded appreciating Lutherwood’s role in introducing him to the sport. “Lutherwood was there for me and helped me become a better person.”
Andy’s advice for youth enrolled at Lutherwood, “Be patient. Give the program an honest chance and it will work for you just like it worked for me.”