NBC Nightly News recently visited the campus of Oakland University and the William Beaumont School of Medicine as part of a feature story on the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym. The special is scheduled to air later this month.
News correspondent and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton visited the boxing gym, located in Detroit, to discuss how the DYBG works with area youths.
The DYBG is a nonprofit organization that develops good citizenship in urban youth through boxing programs, academic support and volunteer service.
An Oakland connection
The DYBG joined with OUWB to participate in mentoring sessions with children ages eight through 18, with the focus of preparing them for a productive adult life.
Jessica Hauser, executive director of DYBG, said the inspiration for reaching out to OU came from students who want to become doctors in the future.
“Once they expressed that’s what they wanted to do, we wanted to provide one of the best resources available,” Hauser said. “I reached out to a source and Oakland greeted us with open arms.”
The organization now participates monthly with instructors at OUWB, according to Hauser, who graduated from OU with a degree in political science.
“With the tutoring that these kids go through, we push academics and hard work to better prepare them for medical school when it’s time to take that step,” Hauser said.
The mentoring sessions take place on campus and throughout the tri-county area with various community service activities.
Improving the lives of students
The students participate in year-long volunteering, from picking up trash to working with Forgotten Harvest by helping field the produce.
“We want to teach them the importance of education and what it can do to put you in a better position of life,” founder and head trainer Coach Khali said.
Khali does not want his athletes to focus solely on boxing for a living, but a life beyond the ring with all of his students graduating from high school.
He believes with so many distractions in the world, the students will be unprepared for many things.
But he hopes through community involvement, students will gain a better understanding of the importance of what’s around them.
“We feel if they learn the value of their community early on in life, they will eventually want to be impact citizens for the next generation like we have,” Khali said.
For more information on the DYBG, visit www.downtownyouthboxing.org