The flame of a successful future burns bright with Matthew Chambers. The University Preparatory Academy graduate joined DBG in 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – a tumultuous time for students when attending school often meant logging into an online virtual classroom.

At that same time, DBG extended its hours to full days (7:30am to 7pm) and tripled its staff to make sure students had a safe place to attend virtual classes with continued academic support and reliable internet access. Matthew says working with staff members like Coach Dan taught him important study skills.

“They left a big impression on me (and taught me) to really make sure I manage my time well,” he says.

Matthew was able to make the most of his time during COVID, as his entrepreneurial spirit prompted him to start a candle business, known as Candles of Wealth. At first, this meant trying different ingredients for the candles and finding the necessary resources to get the business off the ground. 

During his time at DBG, Matthew also learned the importance of surrounding himself with the right people. In fact, he says his peers made him see the world differently.

“Just talking to people and getting their views on things definitely makes you think outside of yourself,” he says. “There’s something that happens when you workout with someone everyday and you sit by them for hours and hours, months on end, you definitely build a sense of camaraderie and family.”

When he tore his ACL last year, Matthew says his DBG family was there for him, supporting him and checking in on him during his recovery. He says the small, everyday conversations with coaches, volunteers, and his peers are what he’ll remember most, including Coach Khali “always giving us words to empower us” after group workouts.

Matthew is heading out into the world with a can-do attitude. On top of his studies and candle business, he also participates in the Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Matthew plans to continue to grow his business while pursuing higher education in the future.

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