Detroit Diesel Partners with the Downtown Boxing Gym

The Detroit-based company, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, has selected the Downtown Boxing Gym as its first-ever targeted campaign partner, pledging financial support, job training opportunities and volunteers.
When Detroit Diesel generously donated $150,000 to the Downtown Boxing Gym in early June, it was more than just a financial gesture. They see our students as the future. They share our vision.

Jeff Allen, head of operations at Detroit Diesel, presented the big check and gave our students a brief overview about his company.

“We make big diesel engines and transmissions and axles that go into the big trucks you see, the really big trucks that drive all around the country,” he said. “I’m the guy who’s responsible for making these big engines.”

Allen toured our facility along with Rakesh Aneja, head of engineering at Detroit Diesel. They walked through the boxing gym, classrooms, library, kitchen, music studio and outdoor space and also met with some of the 140 children who take part in our free after-school academic and athletic program.

“Since we’re so close we hope that one day some of you can come work for Detroit Diesel because we need a lot of really smart people to help us design and build these engines,’’ Allen told the students. “What you guys are doing here is really inspirational and what Khali (Sweeney) and Jessica (Hauser) and you guys are doing really has inspired us. The hard work that you do every day to continue to learn and do well in school is something that’s very, very important and we want you to continue to do that. We want to help you continue to do that. We brought you a gift today for your organization to continue to develop.’’
Proud Partnership
It’s always a boost when our students hear from those who believe in them. That is exactly the message Allen delivered. In turn, Allen and Aneja were inspired by what they saw.

“What an amazing, heartwarming story that restores my faith in humanity and makes me optimistic about the future of mankind. It is indeed a very special honor for Jeff and me to be here to get to meet Coach Khali and get to meet all of you and see this place firsthand,’’ Aneja said.

The Daimler team emphasized how proud they are to partner with us. Detroit Diesel encourages employees to take two paid days off to volunteer, work in the community and make a difference.

“At Detroit and Daimler Trucks North America, we take a lot of pride in our work — we want to make a difference to the environment, to our people, to our customers, but we also want make a bigger impact on our communities, ” Aneja said. “This is absolutely a great opportunity to partner… and we’re looking at it [as] the beginning of a long-term, fruitful partnership.”

Inspiring Words
Kahli, always the coach and mentor, seized the teachable moment and built upon the message from the Detroit Diesel executives. He thanked Allen and Aneja for the generous gift and encouraged students to think big as they think about the future.

“Here’s a group of people — they could invest in anything in the world — but they invested in the future, and the future is you all right here. Take advantage of it,” Khali told the group. “There are a lot of guys outside these walls who aren’t going to see this. They are never going to get this opportunity. And you know where they are headed? A hard road.’’

He reminded the group about the many job opportunities that can come as a result of education and learning, hard work, focus and determination.

“You all are getting the building blocks right now today, early on. Fiber optics. Computer coding. Possibly engineering school,” he said. “These people are here doing this, they don’t have to be here. They could be investing in their sons or daughters, cousins, or nieces’ soccer teams or whatever the case may be. Little League teams. But they are investing in something they feel is important. That’s educating the youth in our community. You all are getting the chance at being whatever you want to be.’’

Thank you to the entire Detroit Diesel team for your partnership and support. Welcome to our Downtown Boxing Gym family!