I went to the Grand Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting for the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program.

What stuck with me since then is the story a high school senior told, of how this program changed his life from getting into trouble to better grades and preparing for college applications.

I find it amazing when people find something, some changing agent, that pushes their growth whether mentally, physically, etc.

The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is located on the east side in Detroit’s District 5, and officially opened August 19th.

The building’s renovations were appreciated and thanked for during the ceremony which acknowledged their partnerships with Sachse ConstructionROSSETTI, others and volunteers that helped them transform the building.

The gym has two boxing rings, boxing bags aligned along the outskirts and other sporting equipment ranging from jump ropes, to padding and gloves for youth, and much more.

But what really stood out amongst the gym, during the self-guided tours, were the classrooms in a separate area of the building. One of the classrooms even had displays of kids’ work that demonstrated progressive learning like setting goals and establishing habits that will help them succeed in the future.

A big congratulations to the Founder and Program DirectorKhali Sweeney, and Excuetive DirectorJessica Hauser on their continuance of success leading to their Grand Opening Ceremony Program.

The program featured presentations and remarks from: Emcee Kelly Deines, Creative Director, ROSETTI; George Jacobsen, Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation; and Warren Evans, Wayne County Executive to name a few.

Downtown Boxing Gym has been a transformative influence in many youth’s lives who reside on the Eastside.

The program currently serves 65 kids and has more than 300 names (ranging from ages 7-18) on the waiting list.

Here kids learn how to navigate the challenges they face growing up in tough neighborhoods through learning how to study with tutoring, discipline with boxing, and pride within their community by participating in volunteer work.

Heartfelt programming!

(Originally written August 2015)

Peace and blessings,

– P. Blessman

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