As a Detroit Public Schools alum, and current Detroit resident, I feel a sense of responsibility for the success of our current DPS students.  I would like to take this opportunity to share some perspective about how to get connected and involved with this next generation of our DPS family.

After graduating from Renaissance High School and the University of Michigan, I started my career teaching middle school science at a DPS school. I love Science and I enjoy middle school kids, so it was a great fit.  I truly enjoyed teaching students science through experiences such as urban farming, building rockets, ballroom dancing, and canoeing.  After earning a masters degree from Wayne State University, I served as the supervisor of middle school science prior to my current position as the Executive Director of the Office of Science for Detroit Public Schools.

Because I am a product of Detroit Public Schools, I can convey a pretty strong message that good things come out of Detroit and from DPS. I think it’s critical that every adult connected to this city, past or present, see the responsibility to protect and encourage the good that is in this city currently. I truly believe that students can do whatever they want to do if they apply themselves and take advantage of what’s being offered to them.  DPS alum can increase the positive science offerings available to our current students in multiple ways.

If you work in a science-related field or just have an interest in science, you can help positively influence our students. For example, this spring, 60 schools will offer after school programs for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math). You can volunteer to advise or assist those clubs.

Teachers are always looking for support with students’ science fair projects. They are also looking for help with the “You Be The Chemist” competitions for 5th through 8th graders. Also, 45 DPS schools have gardens. Half the beds are design to grow vegetables to be served in the school. Anyone with a “green thumb” can help out at any time of the day.

If you’re in a science or engineering career, it’s important to talk to students about what you do currently. You may have lived in their neighborhood growing up, or work in the city now.  Students need to see and hear that it’s possible to achieve goals, and more importantly, they need to hear the specific details of how decisions that were made along the way impacted the journey to the final destination.  Just by sharing your story, you can provide inspiration, guidance, and exposure which could be just the information that a student needs to make a more informed decision.

My parents always said that they felt they could have not purchased a better education than what I received from DPS. If that is still going to be the case for today’s students, as well as tomorrow’s, they will need the support of alumni, both to the DPS Foundation, and directly to students in the form of time and talent. Please join us…an investment in a person, is never a waste.