Class of 2024: Meet ‘The Creatives,” DBG’s Rising Stars

Music, dance, art, spoken word poetry, writing and other artistic endeavors give DBG students a creative outlet. From our music studio, which ignites a passion for signing, songwriting, playing instruments, and music production, to ballet classes, art projects, creative writing, poetry, filmmaking, photography, and public speaking opportunities, our students have a variety of ways to shine and pursue careers in the spotlight or behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.

Several members of this year’s DBG Class of 2024 are rising stars. Some have already appeared in viral videos, a highly touted TV series, and on other stages large and small. Meet the DBG creatives pursuing music, theater, photography, and more.

King Bethel 

King Bethel was born to be a star. He fell in love with music as a child and has pursued his passion for singing, songwriting, producing, acting and more at DBG, in school, and in other ways. As a student at Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences, he performed with a youth choir that won local Emmys and Detroit Music Awards. King was front and center in this “One Nation Under a Groove” viral video with the choir that received more than 2 million views. He also sang the national anthem at a Cleveland Cavalier’s game in eighth grade, when he was just 13 years old.

“I want to be a household name,” he told us at the time. “I just want to be known for what I do.”

In high school, King continued to hone his craft while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Among his many honors, he won an audition with NBC’s The Voice, was elected Class President at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, won a $25,000 scholarship from the Detroit Pistons Foundation as part of a city-wide poetry slam, was a national finalist in the public speaking competition Project Soapbox at DBG, and scored a leading role in the upcoming TV series Higher and Higher – The Jackie Wilson story. (And he’s just getting started.)

“Khali has really inspired me,” he said. “The way he’s able to help our community. I want to help the community, too. That’s really important to me.”

King is also a current member of the Skillman Foundation’s President’s Youth Council. His future plans include pursuing music and acting at a prestigious performing arts school such as Juilliard or Berkley.

“Since you were a young boy, you’ve been able to articulate your goals and vision, and you continuously work to make your dreams a reality,” said Tia Talton, apprentice to the DBG CEO. “We’ve been blessed to witness your musical growth and watch you become such a poised artist. You are a light in this world and have the unique ability to fill every room you walk into with warmth and kindness. King, congratulations on everything you have achieved so far. You have an exciting path ahead of you and we can’t wait to see where you take it.”

Makyla Iverson 

A creative individual with a passion for helping others, Makyla Iverson quickly found a supportive community within DBG. Driven by her passion for writing and using her voice to make a difference, the soon to be Martin Luther King Junior High School graduate plans to major in broadcast journalism and minor in theater. She’s also considering business and social work, with the ultimate goal of establishing a homeless shelter in Detroit someday.

Makyla started her journey with DBG in 4th grade. She says the years she spent with our program provided her a sense of focus and purpose and taught her to prioritize what truly matters. Under the guidance Khali and the DBG team, she learned the value of seizing each moment and taking action promptly, as life waits for no one. 

Although she was not interested in competitive boxing or a boxing career, Makyla says she looked forward to sparring and working out with peers. For her, it was a healthy outlet on some of her toughest days and the experience was fun and exciting. She also loved to help tutor and mentor younger students in a variety of academic subjects.

“DBG will always be in my blood,” she says. “We are a family and I love everyone like we share the same blood.” 

Makayla Iverson 

Makyla’s twin sister, Makayla, had her own unique experience at DBG. She is a passionate photographer who plans to pursue photography and attend barber school, giving herself a variety of outlets for creative expression.

Makayla says DBG played a pivotal role in her academic journey, keeping her motivated and focused on maintaining top grades. She also found a passion for community service at DBG, where she cherished community service projects like Fleece & Thank You where she and other DBG students worked together to make blankets for local children being treated in area hospitals. The camaraderie she experienced with her peers while lending a helping hand made each session a memorable and fulfilling experience. As she prepares to step into the next chapter of her life, Makayla says she will carry with her the lessons learned and the values instilled during her time at DBG.  

Congratulations to Makayla, Makyla, King and the rest of our amazing graduating Class of 2024. Take a bow and keep on shining as you continue to pursue your dreams. 


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.