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My name is Leslie Hicks, and I am a senior at Cranbrook Kingswood. As part of my senior project, I have had the opportunity to intern at the Detroit Public Schools Foundation for the last three weeks. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to talk to and learn from the wonderful staff at the Foundation. Under the guidance of Dr. Glenda Price, Mrs. Erica Sanders, Mrs. Yesenia Roman-Murphy and Mr. Taylor Teasdale I have explored the world of nonprofit work. The Foundation’s staff is dedicated and warm, which translates to supporters and alumni who do all they can to help. [/column] [clear]

The Detroit Public Schools Foundation, a nonprofit, receives funds and gives grants to support programs for students. I was privileged enough to experience the different aspects of the Foundation and its work in the community. In this way, I was able to gain a better understanding of the daily operations and how everything fits together. I have attended community events alongside Dr. Price, reached out to alumni to volunteer to clean up DPS’ Camp Burt Shurly, thanked donors for their contributions and reviewed requests for funding. I have learned the importance of networking (especially for fundraising), professionalism and commitment.

Having been a longtime student in the Detroit Public Schools system, I was excited to return. While the district and the Foundation are indeed two distinctly separate entities, they work closely with each other to create education and enrichment opportunities for all students.  I was pleased to learn that many of the programs that I witnessed and participated in in elementary and middle school were supported by the generosity of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Those out of classroom experiences, such as academic games, field trips and musical instruction, supplemented my early education. I am grateful to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation for the impact it has made on the lives of so many students, including myself, and for the opportunity I have had to see the hard work that goes behind it.