The origins of the Fight Abuse Program started back in 2018. When a group of business partners, Badou Jack (Two Division World Boxing Champion), Amer Abdallah (Undefeated World Kickboxing Champion and Promoter), Jason Bernhardt, Andrew Birney, and Ryan Schmidt started working together in the Badou Jack Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Jack and Abdallah. The focus was to help the Syrian Refugee Children.
Later Bernhardt, Birney, and Schmidt started talking with UFC Fighter Sam Alvey about Foster Care challenges here in the US.
COVID hit. The problem became bigger.
Like many people, we were uneducated and unaware of the problems facing children and teens — especially teens "aging out" — in the foster care system. Through our work with foster advocate and UFC fighter Sam Alvey, we came to understand the magnitude of the problems and couldn't help but get involved. After the pandemic exacerbated the issue, fighting child abuse and neglect, and supporting children and teens in the foster system became our personal mission. Together we created the Smile’n Sam Foster Care Initiative.