Rach Gets Emotional Recalling Thanksgiving She Spent at Youth Center Boxing Gym in Detroit

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Playing Rachael Gets Emotional Recalling Thanksgiving She Spent at Youth Center Boxing Gym in Detroit
Rachael Gets Emotional Recalling Thanksgiving She Spent at Youth Center Boxing Gym in Detroit Aired September 05, 2018

A couple of years ago, Rach spent Thanksgiving at Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, a community youth center that focuses as much on education and mentorship as physical fitness. Rach calls Coach Khali, founder of Downtown Boxing Gym, "a personal hero of mine."

“When he set out on this mission to open a boxing gym for the community and to mentor kids in every way you can imagine, he was living in his car,” Rach says. More than a decade later, 98% of kids who join Downtown Boxing Gym not only graduate from high school, but go on to college. Now that’s something to celebrate!

“I can’t tell you how it changed my life to go to that gym for that Thanksgiving,” Rach says. “Every single person can change the world, and Coach Khali is proof of that.”

One of the gym’s current college hopefuls is high school student Jordan, who joined Downtown Boxing Gym a few years ago he was going through a particularly rough time in his adolescence — his father had passed suddenly and his mother was concerned with how he was acting out.

“Jordan was heading in the wrong direction,” she recalls, he was getting sent home on suspensions and struggling academically.

Coach Khali saw something more. “Jordan has all the potential in the world,” he recalls. “His biggest weakness? Lack of focus.”

Fast forward to today, and Jordan is a much different kid — he has his sights set on the future and has even been looking at colleges. He’s interested in studying computer science or software engineering.

“Not bad!” Rach says. “You know, Jordan, you’re probably going to be the only software engineer that I know that could kick anybody’s butt in the boxing ring, too!”

“I always knew he had it in him, but it feels good to see Jordan start to reach some of the goals he set forth and to accomplish them,” Coach Khail adds.

Rach couldn’t agree more.

“I think it’s such a shining example for the whole country what you guys have got going on in Detroit,” she says. “It’s just a beautiful thing that you’re so community-oriented and that you all support each other.”

But Rach isn’t done — she has a surprise for Jordan and Coach Khail. The employees at PWC Detroit personally raised $20,935 to help Jordan pay for college! And they’re going to provide him with mentors and counselors to help with everything from college applications on through his college experience.

What an incredible gift for a kid who has earned it! Good luck, Jordan!

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