Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is more than just boxing. Before the kids put on gloves, they have to hit the books. The work we do changes the lives of the kids by offering a safe, cool and productive place to go after school and during the summer. The work we do is about helping kids navigate the challenges they face in Detroit’s toughest neighborhoods. Their successes are our successes and each success creates a ripple effect that crosses boundaries, creating a true citizen of the world.Since 2007, our home on Detroit’s east side has served as a safe haven for kids aged 7 – 18. Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program helps them learn how to study through tutoring, teaches them discipline through boxing, and instills pride in their community through voluntary service.
“Boxing is the ‘hook’ to get and keep kids in the program. Teaching them to be productive members of society is our passion.” –Coach Khali
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“Books Before Boxing” Our results speak volumes. In the first year, our students see an improvement, on average, of at least one letter grade. Most have at least a 3.0 GPA. Teach for America, an Americorps program that offers college tuition assistance in exchange for one year of national service, has recently partnered with Downtown Boxing Gym’s Youth Program to offer daily tutoring, develop strong study habits, and create an individualized program of achievement.
Like any sport, boxing creates a daily discipline of mental and physical fitness. The kids develop a strong sense of themselves and learn how to rely on one another in a team environment. They view one another as family members, and learn how to communicate, resolve conflicts and celebrate successes together. Unique to the program is how parents are encouraged to be their child’s “head coach” as the organization works to strengthen family bonds.
In addition to the rigorous academic and athletic program, participants in the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program are required to perform community service. The kids work with Detroit’s Forgotten Harvest by working in their gardens during the summer months and sorting foods in their warehouse during the school year. DBG kids also play baseball with The Miracle League, a team in Plymouth for children with special needs.