Philanthropist offers students scholarships

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Story was written by Fox 2 Detroit news staff.

WARREN, Mich. (April 2, 2019) – Tuition comes with a $13,000 price tag, but for two metro Detroit teens, attending is free.

“At first we were a little scared, but once we saw what all De La Salle could offer for us, we jumped at it,” said Reynard Robinson.

Robinson is one of two sophomores that now attend De La Salle Collegiate. The beneficiaries of a businessman’s charitable endeavor, Robinson is part of the Downtown Boxing Gym, which works to marry athletics with academics, sprinkling in a few life lessons as well.

“The youth in Detroit have this tremendous talent, but a lack of opportunity,” said Tom Petzold. 

Tom Petzold, his wife, and Katie Anderson, the academic director at the Downtown Boxing Gym, attended an all-school Mass celebrated by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

Tom Petzold, his wife, and Katie Anderson, the academic director at the Downtown Boxing Gym, attended an all-school Mass celebrated by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron. (Photo by Kevin Fitzhenry/De La Salle)

President of Petzold Enterprises, the businessman is paying students to attend the private school, by offering scholarships in conjunction with the Downtown Boxing Gym.

“By developing your talents, you can make a difference in other people’s lives and I think that’s the message the gym teaches young men,” Petzold said, “and the school does the same thing.”

Petzold got the idea to send a few of Detroit’s youth to the school via inspiration from his grandfather. The same man started a similar scholarship fund years ago in Providence. After seeing the positive experience his oldest son had at the school, he sought to mimic that same notion.

“Education is about that two way communication and we are so fortunate that we have faculty and staff and families in our community that embrace that,” said John Knight, president of De La Salle Collegiate, “I think the Detroit Boxing Gym is on the same page so it’s a great relationship. We look forward to deepening that in the years to come.”

Those plans are already in the works, with another scholarship in the works. The hope is that other business leaders start to mimic the same endeavor.

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