Class of 2024: DBG Alum Earns Master’s Degree and Wins Prestigious Award

Asia Williams was all smiles May 11 during her graduation ceremony from the School of Architecture at University of Detroit Mercy. This is the third time she has graduated in recent years – first from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School in 2019, then from U of D Mercy with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Now, the DBG alum has her Master’s of Architecture, a professional degree fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and big plans for the future.

“To me, architecture is combining people and space,” she says. “There aren’t many women or people of color in general in architecture and I feel that I’m stepping out for all of us. I just want to make my mark.”

Last year, Asia shared more about her love for architecture and how DBG inspired her when we visited her on campus. Click the video player below to watch.

Like countless DBG students through the years, Asia developed her college and career plans at the Downtown Boxing Gym. With hard work and persistence, she achieved everything she set out to do and more.

Her master’s thesis focused on incorporating youth voice in architecture and design with a special emphasis on development in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Her research included a number of workshops conducted with DBG students. On the eve of graduation, Asia was presented with the prestigious Grace Lee Boggs Social Justice Architecture Award.

“My goals after graduation are to achieve my architecture license and continue to incorporate youth voice in my work,” Asia said. “DBG inspired this entire journey for me. I am where I am today because of Downtown Boxing Gym. I love the connections they gave me and the mentorship they provided me throughout my high school and college years and I am very grateful. I’m excited to get my license and get out and make changes in my community and the world.”

We are so proud! Check out some additional graduation photos below.


Good Morning America Fans!

Thank you for watching our Ray of Sunshine segment.

To honor Khali, DBG, and our impact, the KLA Foundation and Art VanElslander Foundation are generously matching $120,000 in donations to DBG.

Help secure our transformative STEAM Lab programming for the next school year.