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[column type=”3/4″ last=”true”] As a proud product of DPS, I am honored to have been asked to contribute to the alumni blog. My DPS experience was tied to the sense of community that our neighborhood schools created. Our elementary and middle schools were in walking distance of each other, so the vast majority of the families in our neighborhood were linked by their children’s overlapping attendance. Like many neighborhoods in Detroit at that time, there was a wide range of incomes. [/column] [clear]

The children of executives went to school with children on public assistance. Kids had fewer wealth indicators than they do today, so the income disparities were not as noticeable. This allowed children who would normally have been separated by their socioeconomic status, to become lifelong friends. More than anything, I believe that this cohesive, income diverse community shaped who I am today…and it was all made possible by our neighborhood Detroit Public Schools.

In addition to the great education I received, DPS provided access to several enrichment programs. I played in the Academic Games tournaments at Eastern Michigan University, and attended Saturday art classes at Wayne State. Those experiences stoked my interest in going to college. More importantly, they gave me the tools to be successful when I got there.