The Downtown Boxing Gym is incredibly proud of our 100% high school graduation rate – a track record of success that has continued every year since 2007 thanks to the hard work and dedication of our students, staff and volunteers. As graduation approaches, we’re celebrating our newest soon-to-be graduate, a member of the Cass Technical High School Class of 2019.

When Asia Williams first walked into the Downtown Boxing Gym two years ago, she was a struggling tenth grader with an uncertain future. Today, after a great deal of persistence, hard work, growth and determination, Asia is preparing to graduate from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School and will be an incoming freshman at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture.

To top it all off, Asia is a recipient of the Detroit College Promise and a number of institutional scholarships which will total an estimated $64,000 dollars during her college career. She also received a $2,500 college scholarship from the Rhonda Walker Foundation.

“Our Architecture program has a direct path to licensure, students are paired with co-ops and internships while in the program,” says Joy Mohammed, Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment at U of D Mercy. “Our students are very active in the development of the new Livernois corridor and the resurgence of Detroit. We are elated that Asia has decided to stay in Detroit to pursue her dreams as she most definitely will be working to help Detroit Mercy fulfill our own mission.”

Asia’s path was not always clear. Establishing a plan for the future helped her focus on the bigger picture and become more determined to graduate.

“The gym kept me focused and my grades improved a lot,” she says. “I used to have D’s and C’s but I started getting A’s and B’s.”

The Downtown Boxing Gym was there for Asia when it came time to pick colleges and apply for scholarships. Our coaches and tutors gave her the tools and advice she needed – and Asia put in the work, both personally and academically, to succeed.

“When I first came to the gym, I didn’t really talk to anyone,” Asia recalls. “DBG really helped me come out of my shell and be myself more; I can talk to anybody now.”

Asia was inspired by Academic Coordinator Kristin Lusk who studied architecture in college. In the future, she envisions herself making use of vacant land and creating something out of nothing. Along with her talent for math, Asia’s artistic side also motivated her to choose architecture. She was recently one of three student artists who created a special mural for the STEAM Lab.

“I like drawing, especially during my free time,” Asia says. “I like to draw anything from cartoons, to letters, to graffiti art.”

For Asia, attending the Downtown Boxing Gym helped her to find herself. She says she’s grateful to everyone who helped along the way and advises future students to believe in themselves and to never give up.

“When I came here, I actually had something productive to do,” Asia says. “The coaches, the tutors, they all put a little bit into me every day. I just want to say ‘thank you.’”

Asia will graduate from Cass Technical High School on June 11, 2019 at Ford Field. Congratulations, Asia! Your Downtown Boxing Gym family is so proud of all you’ve accomplished and all that’s yet to come!