You’ve excelled at your individual career with support from educators and employers. You’ve built up a network of friends and mentors. What do you do next? Look for a way to return the favor by giving back.
That is what the Detroit chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global network or more than 11,000 business owners in 48 countries, did recently. EO Detroit teamed up with former MMA champion, Urijah Faber, to raise funds for the Downtown Boxing Gym. The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is a free after-school educational resource for Detroit-area youth.
A longtime UFC fighter, Faber was in town to meet these kids and business leaders first hand. He shared lessons on personal branding and self-promotion. These are lessons he’s used to go from an unknown collegiate wrestler to a world-famous MMA champ and a successful businessman. Faber also worked with the kids in the youth program to demonstrate and teach the different boxing techniques that have helped make him a champion.
Faber said he was impressed with the talent both in terms of physical strength and mental fortitutde in Detroit’s students. He added via his Instagram account that he was honored to be a part of this unique place and to work with EO Detroit, which donated $1,200 to the boxing gym and youth program.
As an organization that helps local entrepreneurs learn and grow, EO Detroit understand the importance of paying those lessons forward to the youth of Detroit, said Wesley Mathews, an EO Detroit board member. EO Detroit is a peer-to-peer network for Southeast Michigan entrepreneurs; its 105 members account for more than $1.4 billion in revenue and 6,300 employees.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to help support a great organization like the Downtown Boxing Gym. And, most importantly, being able to connect the local youth with a professional fighter, like Urijah, who’s been successful in and out of the ring,” Mathews said.
Since 2007, Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program has provided a safe haven for children ages 7 to 18. Much more than just boxing, Founder and Program Director Khali Sweeney developed a place for students to learn how to study through tutoring, a gym that teaches discipline through boxing and a community center that instills pride in all who participate through voluntary service. To date, it boasts a 100 percent high-school graduation rate and most of these students go on to college.