Celebrating Our 2021 DBG Seniors – Congratulations, Akayla!

The largest group of DBG seniors we’ve seen in years is set to graduate. We are so proud of these amazing students and our team who worked hard and got the job done despite the challenges of COVID-19. This is part of a series Celebrating our 2021 DBG Seniors.

Akayla, a senior at Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy, has been attending DBG for a year and even worked with us as a kitchen helper over the summer. In her free time, she enjoys reading, drawing and cooking. She plans to attend Henry Ford Community College where she’ll pursue nursing.

DBG impacts each student differently and every student student has their own personal journey. For Akayla, one of the most meaningful lessons she’s learned is to be an advocate for herself.

“Once upon a time before I began to go to DBG, I was very shy and I didn’t know how to speak up for myself,” she explains. “When I was struggling in school, and I didn’t contact my teachers or know how I was supposed to. Miss Amy taught me how to advocate for myself. I learned how to speak up for myself, how to structure myself with work habits, and how to keep my schedule up.”

Akayla has experienced profound growth ever since and she works hard not only to better herself, but to be an advocate for others as well. Her natural skills and abilities are sure to compliment her desire to become a registered nurse. Akayla prides herself on her ability to care for others no matter what the situation may be. She says she’s ready for anything the medical profession may throw her way.

“I’m good at dealing with blood,” she says.” Something happened to my brother years ago and my mama couldn’t handle it. And that’s why I stepped in as a big sister to help get that covered up.”

Akayla will never forget the impact of her time at DBG. Through the program, she got help with the transition to online learning during COVID-19. She also had a support network around her to foster personal growth.

“The mentors at the Downtown Boxing Gym are very, very helpful. They offer you as much help as they can. They bring the best out of you. They teach you the lessons that you need to learn to be prepared for life.”

“Everybody should learn how to be open instead of being in the shadows,” she adds. “Don’t be scared to talk to anybody. Be a more open person – it’s very helpful throughout life.”

Congratulations Akayla and the entire DBG graduating class of 2021!