We could not do what we do without our amazing volunteers! This is part of a series of blog posts to spotlight and celebrate the professionals from all over metro Detroit who give of their time and talents to help our students every single day. We are truly thankful for our volunteers and the spirit of community they bring to the Downtown Boxing Gym. Together, we are changing lives and helping make our students' dreams come true.
Brad Fox, a married father of four, has done a lot of volunteer work during his career in digital media.
He has worked with Life Remodeled, the Detroit neighborhood-focused nonprofit, and when he was part of the team at a local advertising agency, he became a tutor at Amelia Earhart Elementary-Middle School, a public school in southwest Detroit. There, he was assigned to work with small groups in crowded classrooms that had 30 to 40 students.
“To see them pop out of their chairs because I think they craved the attention… I kind of got the bug,” Fox said.
He heard about the Downtown Boxing Gym after his wife saw it featured in a news report. And as he put it, “I just inquired and started going there.”
“It’s the mission [that inspires him],” Fox continued. “I think it’s just such a wonderful opportunity for children in many ways.” He praises the gym as a great place for students of working parents to stay active after school, get help with their schoolwork, and also stay safe.
“It’s a wonderful after-school program and a very well-run program. The kids are all respectful.”
Fox, 54, of Grosse Pointe, is currently self-employed as a digital media consultant. He also co-hosts a podcast called Big Digital Thinkers, which riffs on digital media, advertising, Detroit and emerging trends like self-driving cars.
He volunteers at the gym on Mondays, and has for several years, helping students with their homework in reading, English, math and computers.
Eventually, two of his high school-aged children, Emily and Andrew, started tagging along. “They enjoy the program, too,” he says. “They develop their own relationship with some of the kids because I think the students can develop different kinds of relationships with their peers than they can with the adults.”
Fox plans to continue volunteering at the gym “as long as they’ll take me.”
“It’s incredibly rewarding,” Fox said. “Every day is different. You’re going to be working with kids who have different learning styles and personalities. I always look forward to Mondays.”
If you’re interested in volunteering with the Downtown Boxing Gym, check out our volunteering page for more information or to sign up and help further our mission to help students achieve their dreams through academic success.