Class of 2024: Meet ‘The Healers,’ DBG’s Future Health Care Pros

Health care jobs are in high demand in Michigan and across the country. According to published reports, since 2020, one in five health care workers has left the industry, and some 47% plan to quit in the next two years. This field presents huge opportunities for our DBG students interested in everything from becoming doctors to nursing to physical therapy and more.

The nonprofit Michigan Health Council found that nearly all of the 36 Michigan health care occupations it analyzed are projecting workforce shortages between now and 2032. Nurse practitioners are projected to have the lowest shortage, dental assistants the highest. Mental health occupations – from community health workers to psychologists – face immense shortages. That’s where ‘The Healers’ from our Class of 2024 come in. Read more about what our graduates’ goals and dreams in health care below.

King Nichols 

It turns out King Nichols’ passion was always right there in front of his face. It just took time, mentorship, and a vision for his future career to realize it. King’s commitment to his personal skincare regimen and deep expertise in skincare products has inspired him to pursue a career as a dermatologist. That’s exactly what he plans to do after graduating from Covenant House Academy Central.

When King first joined DBG in 2016 at the age of 10, he expressed a desire to work with forklifts. But after engaging in one-on-one sessions with mentors and other students, he began to envision a broader future for himself. Through these conversations and deeper exploration of his aspirations, options, and opportunities, King started to think beyond his initial goals and more about what drives him to feel inspired. After diligently researching medical programs in Michigan, King decided to attend Grand Valley State University (GVSU).  

During his time at DBG, King was able to participate in the RYSE MED (Readying Youth Scientists for Excellence in Medicine, Health Equity and Discovery) program at Henry Ford, which supports underrepresented students in medicine. With the support of Cedric Mutebi, a longtime DBG volunteer and Henry Ford cardiovascular resident, King took part in the six-week intensive summer program. Some of his most cherished memories include witnessing childbirth firsthand and learning valuable skills, such as suturing, that he can apply to his future medical practice. Throughout this program, King also dedicated time as a GDYT (Grow Detroit’s Young Talent) youth mentor at DBG. Continuing to serve as a junior coach, King is proudly fostering growth and leadership within the DBG community. 

“I first met King Nichols two years ago and was immediately struck by his compassion and drive to give back,” said Skylar Burkhardt, DBG’s data manager. “These qualities have helped King excel as one of DBG’s first ever high school literacy mentors. King’s time as a mentor set the precedent for 25 high schoolers to become members the following summer, demonstrating that at DBG, our community is our greatest resource of all.”

Maurice Adams 

With a keen eye for opportunity and the determination to secure his financial future, University Prep Art & Design High School graduate, Maurice Adams, initially plans to pursue a career in the health care field by becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). However, nursing is just one of many career paths that Maurice is passionate about. His long-term goal involves saving up enough money to transition into real estate, eventually establishing his own agency. For him, housing and properties are not just commodities—they are pathways to building generational wealth and leaving a lasting legacy of prosperity for those who follow in his footsteps. 

Maurice started his journey at DBG when he was just 10 years old, drawn to boxing due to his passion for sports and athletics. Throughout his time at DBG, Maurice found enjoyment in the rigorous training and discipline required in the boxing ring. As the years went on, his time at DBG taught him valuable life lessons including discipline, balance, and perseverance, which have shaped his overall character and work ethic. 

DBG’s structured approach instilled a sense of purpose and discipline in Maurice. The mantra of “work hard now, play later” became a guiding principle for him, and he began to prioritize responsibilities before leisure activities.  As a proud DBG alum, he encourages incoming DBG students to embrace new experiences and remain open-minded, advising them to “try everything DBG has to offer, you’ll be surprised where you just might find your passion.” 

“I’m so proud of this young man,” said Nicolle Hall Johnson, DBG’s director of culture. “He’s always been very respectful, kind and thoughtful. Maurice brings a natural light to any room he enters. Congratulations Maurice, I can’t wait to witness the amazing things you’ll accomplish and the amazing places you’ll go!”

Khalil Stewart 

Khalil Stewart’s journey at DBG was rich with experiences from learning how to cook to discovering his passion for community leadership. DBG also became a catalyst for Khalil’s personal growth. While he initially wanted to become a boxer, his strong desire to take care of others and give back to his community led him to envision a future as a traveling registered nurse or surgical technician. 

Khalil graduated from North Crowley High School. Initially a big fan of Muhammad Ali, his mother enrolled him in DBG’s program and everything changed. He discovered a supportive community and a mentor in our founder and CEO Khali Sweeney, who became a guiding figure in his life. Khali provided unwavering support to Khalil during challenging times and helped Khalil build the confidence to connect with others. He also taught him to think critically about his actions and their potential consequences.  

Khalil excelled academically before joining DBG. Working with all of our engaging tutors and coaches reinforced his love of learning and made education an interactive and enjoyable experience.  Khalil hopes that by achieving his future goals he can become a community leader and pay it forward to the next generation of young people in his community.

“DBG was a true brotherhood for me,” he says. “This program is like a second home where I found purpose, friendship, and endless opportunities for growth”

Congratulations to King, Maurice, Khalil, their fellow DBG graduate Armani Spirey who plans to pursue nursing, and the entire Class of 2024. We’re excited to see you pursue your dreams and change the world!