Detroit, MI [June 6, 2022] — The Detroit Public Schools Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the newly launched annual Pernick Prizes in Mathematics and Medicine. These two non-renewable $15,000 awards recognize the exceptional performance and future endeavors of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) high school students in their respective chosen fields.

The winner of the Mathematics award is Kanita Islam, an 11th grade student at Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine. Ms. Islam is an honor student whose favorite subject has always been mathematics. She has taken advanced math courses throughout high school. A native of Bangladesh, she won third place in the American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects mathematics competition in 2019. She intends to use the prize money for her future educational endeavors in the Information Technology field.

The winner of the Medicine award is A’Niya Qualls, a 12th grade student at Cass Technical High School. Ms. Qualls is interested in a career in nursing, based on her experience with the profession during COVID testing. She appreciated how a particular nurse was able to comfort her and help her relax during the testing. She plans to give her patients the same peace of mind when she becomes a nurse. She plans to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and use the prize award towards her tuition.

DPS Foundation President and CEO, Pamela Moore, says “this is a life-changing, unique opportunity unlike any other for our students. The Prize can be used for education expenses or an experience that will enhance their knowledge in and exposure to the field of study. We are very grateful for Dr. Pernick’s commitment to our children”. Endowed by Nat Pernick, M.D., former Detroit Public Schools Foundation board member and pathologist, these prizes highlight how DPSCD can provide excellent public education opportunities, access, and support. Dr. Pernick is the founder of, Inc, a free, online pathology textbook used by pathologists worldwide. His parents attended Detroit Public Schools and appreciated the great education they received. He believes it is important for businesses to make charitable giving a major part of their operations and that businesses should invest in their local community and its youth.

The Pernick Prize Selection Committee included experts Lynn Smitherman, MD, Associate Professor, Vice Chair of Medical Education and Clerkship Director at the Wayne State University School of Medicine – Pediatrics, Darryl Gardner, Ph.D., Director of Student Support and Operational Success at Wayne State University, and Steven Hardy, DO, Neurology Specialist at Beaumont Health, as well as DPSCD and DPS


Foundation staff. About the Detroit Public Schools Foundation

Launched in 2009, the Detroit Public Schools Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting DPSCD students, families and educators. Since its inception, the DPS Foundation has raised more than $48 million to create and enhance educational opportunities for the Detroit Public Schools Community District. The DPS Foundation, Michigan’s largest public school foundation, serves as a fundraising organization, a grantmaking entity, a facilitator/connector linking schools and programs with supporters and an information source, helping the general public understand the opportunities and resources needed to educate Detroit’s children. Learn more at or follow us on Facebook.