A boxing gym is helping Detroit public schools prepare students for graduation

Khali Sweeney has a proven formula for educating students: “Books before boxing.”

He created a family environment at the Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit and an afterschool program flexible enough to address each student’s specific needs.

The results are impressive: Since its founding in 2007, the program has reported a 100 percent high school graduation rate.

“I have the flexibility to focus on a student’s exact problem,” Sweeney said. “A school system has deadlines, a curriculum that must be followed. If I think a kid needs to start, or return to basics in math, that’s what we do.”