President’s Corner

 Dear Friends,

As we approach a season of giving thanks, we reflect on our blessings.  We are 73 days into the new school year and as you can imagine, we’ve been busy.   Although COVID has produced many challenges, we continue to be committed to face-to-face learning as long as it remains a safe option.  DPSCD is testing weekly and is also offering a virtual school option for almost 2,000 families that prefer remote learning. 

Our signature event, Champions of Education, held last month at the Detroit Yacht Club, was attended by 100 of our committed partners and alums as we recognized DTE and the DTE Foundation for their role in the Connected Futures Initiative that gifted tablets, Internet and technical support to all 50,000 students (photos link).  Also, as you may have heard, the Biden Administration has provided a substantial amount of COVID Relief funds to the District to manage safety protocols, operations costs and the daunting ramifications of COVID.

Finally, we are asking all our alums to connect with us and sign up for this newsletter.  Stay connected to hear about our phenomenal students, heroic educators and the needs of families.  A small donation goes a long way.  Lastly, our 2022 Coming Home Alumni Weekend is planned for May 20-22th.  You don’t want to miss it.  

It’s always time to be grateful and we are!

Pamela, I’m DPS Proud, Moore

President and CEO


8th Annual Champions of Education!

Over 100 attendees enjoyed our signature event on October 6th presented by Ford Motor Company Fund at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle.  Many thanks to our sponsors, donors, and supporters as we honored DTE and the DTE Foundation and raised $180,000.  Highlighting the evening were the Detroit School of Art’s Jazz Combo, great food, a celebration of the Connected Futures initiative, and Mumford Alumna Carmen Harlan!  

Watch on YouTube:  

View photos from the event:

You can still donate to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation to support our mission. Click on the following link and put COE 2021 in the comments box.!/donation/checkout


Alumni Campaign

We are launching our Alumni Campaign with a number of activities and initiatives!  First up, our inaugural Come Home weekend saluting our DPS/DPSCD alumni. Save the date May 20 – 22, 2022. Sign up to get more information at Activities include school visits, a Meet & Greet Reception, An Evening of Fine Arts featuring our talented students, an Alumni and VIP Sponsors Brunch, a Meet and Ride Bike Stroll, a Taste of Livernois Block Party, worship opportunities on Sunday, an Alumni VIP Reception culminating on Sunday with the Alumni Hall of Fame Black Tie Gala and After-Glow Party!  Whew!  COME ON HOME! Interested in hearing more? Contact us at

If you are a DPS/DPSCD Proud Alum, show your DPS/DPSCD love and submit a 1-minute video for our website.


Alumni Spotlight with Al Allen—Mumford High School

It’s no wonder Mumford alumnus Al Allen was recently inducted into the 2021 Class of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. When I caught up with the legendary former FOX 2 reporter, he was beaming with pride as the announcement of his impending induction just was made. I asked him how it all started.  Mr. Allen recalled that at a young age he loved to write and was nosey. He moved to Detroit from Little Rock, Arkansas and attended DPS’ Durfee Junior High for one year, then matriculated at Mumford High School.  He recalls his 11th grade English teacher, Mary Coleman.  “She was so nice, pretty and young, he said.  I had a crush.”  He got all A’s as he loved to write.  He also stayed in trouble asking adults questions which was prohibited during those times. After graduation, he attended Arkansas A & M, now part of the University of Arkansas.  He majored in Journalism and Communications so that he could “ask questions, not get into trouble, and get paid for it”, he laughed. After graduation he worked at KOKY, a Black radio station in Little Rock, married his high school sweetheart and moved back to Detroit. He said, “In radio you did everything, you sold time, mopped floors and were on the air”.  He learned a lot.

Back in Detroit, his first job was at WGPR, Detroit’s Black-owned media station where many up-and-coming locals were cutting their teeth.  Allen did the news in the afternoons.  He worked with Doris Biscoe, who was doing continuity and traffic before going on to Channel 7 as an anchor.

Allen later became the news director at WJLB for 15 years. “Black folks could sing and dance, but they also needed to be informed”, he said.  He was on air in the morning, later winning the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.  “We were doing more stories on WJLB than at WWJ at the time”, he proudly recalled.  He got a call from FOX 2’s news director, who had been listening to his work on WJLB.  He offered him the assignment desk job, but Allen said I have 15 years of writing experience, but no on-air experience.  He was hired as a reporter and later an anchor.  Al Allen retired from FOX 2 in 2012 after 28 years, has received numerous local and national accolades and is recognized by his peers for his many contributions made to the industry.  Allen and his wife have one son and two grandsons in Seattle.

Al Allen is DPS Proud!

Students Spotlight: Veterans Day

This past Veterans Day, the Detroit Historic Civil War Society hosted their 37th annual Veterans Day Observance to honor all Veterans, especially U.S. Colored and Native American Troops from Michigan’s 102nd unit. The ceremony was hosted at Elmwood Cemetery with Osborn and Renaissance High Schools’ JROTC. The program opened with a Native American ceremonial ritual, an opening prayer and a moment of silence. Renaissance cadets presented the flag while Osborn cadets laid the wreaths and roses on gravesites. Cadet Marie Sanders explains what being in JROTC means to her – “To me, being a Cadet in JROTC means everybody acts as a unit and no one gets left behind. Honoring Native American Veterans and U.S. Colored Troops with wreaths showed that they are part of that commitment too” Additionally, Cass JROTC cadets visited a nursing home to honor and spend time with a 103-year-old veteran of the Women’s Air Corps! We are DPS Proud!



Detroit College Promise Fall Campaign Kick-Off!

The Detroit College Promise (DCP) scholarship, founded by Dr. Nat Pernick in 2008, in honor of his parents who were Detroit Public Schools alumni, was created to support Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) graduating seniors. Criteria includes attendance at a DPSCD high school for 4-years, a minimum 2.5 earned GPA, and matriculation to a State of Michigan-based higher educational institution. The scholarship may be used for tuition, books, housing, meal plans or technology essentials.


“Although it was a tough road to get here, I am happy to report that I’m adjusting quite well at MSU. My Major is Human Biology.  The Detroit College Promise has been a tremendous help paying towards my tuition.  With this and other scholarships, I received my tuition for this year [and it is] paid in full…. a huge relief to me and my family. I want to thank the DPS Foundation and its supporters again for the scholarship.”

–Jaime Parker, MSU class of 2025


We awarded 41 2021 DCP scholarships to students! Your donations are needed to ensure our young leaders thrive and graduate from college.!/donation/checkout.  Donations may be sent to: Detroit Public Schools Foundation, PO Box 2130, Detroit, MI 48202

If you are interested in establishing a scholarship fund with the DPS Foundation, please contact Amy DeWys at 313-910-8956 or



Welcome Program Manager Tanea Menifee

Taneá Menifee is a native Detroiter and proud alumni of Cass Technical High School, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. She has worked extensively with grass roots community engagement, in building relationships with families, school administration, alumni groups, and community leaders. At home, three little people, a dog and two fish call her Mommy. She and her husband Jerome are lovers of all things related to food and travel! In her new role as Program Manager at the DPS Foundation, Taneá is excited to work with funders and manage program resources for our students, families and educators.  We are excited that Tanea joins our team.


Giving Tuesday Teaser

Giving Tuesday is on November 30, 2020, and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation is encouraging you to give! Your support leverages dollars allowing us to provide mini program grants, respond to student/family emergencies and allow seed money to implement innovative academic solutions, social-emotional, and basic needs. Follow us on social media for exciting give-a-ways.  We are also planning a special pop-up at our partner James Oliver Coffee’s new Café at 1236 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226! Stay tuned!

PARTNER PRAISES: Fathead Donations

On November 6, over 100 DPSCD educators, teachers, and coaches visited the Fathead offices in Detroit for an “Open House” where they were able to pick up free Patrick Mahomes Lifesize cutouts, Michael Jordan Dunk Murals, Lebron James Lifesize cutouts, Michigan Wolverines Block M Logos, Detroit Lions Logos, Dry erase White Boards and Paw Patrol Pups stickers just to name a few of the over 1000 items available for their classrooms, teams, and students.

Tyler Morgan, Fathead Marketing Manager, “We had a great turnout on Saturday! It was a great time, and it was a pleasure to meet and chat with the teachers.

Tracy Jolly, teacher at Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy, said, “I was one of the FIRST people to arrive and it was like Christmas in November”! EVERYTHING on site was FREE! Absolutely Awesome Giveaways! My 4th grade scholars at Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy went wild with excitement yesterday as they explored the items. Thanks Again!”– Mama Jolly and 4th grade students.

Frita Batidos is seeking great employees!

Frita Batidos’ downtown Detroit location has been closed due to COVID but they are planning a December reopening.  This great partner has contributed to our golf outing and Giving Campaign and deserves our support.  If you are interested in joining their team and helping to support the community in addition to a great work opportunity, please reach out to PJ or Eve at


The Holley Foundation – – Helping those who are “up against it” get an education!

The Holley Foundation has supported the Moses Field Center since 2016 with a variety of needs, including iPads and trikes. During a recent visit, Reverend George M. Holley and his daughter, Jennifer Boyd, shared their amazing journey, community commitment, and long ties to the Detroit community.  In 1897, Rev. Holley’s grandfather, George Sr., at the age of 19, designed and built a three-wheeled single-cylinder buggy getting up to 30 miles per hour. He and his brother, Earl, formed a company to manufacture motorcycle engines and motorcycles in Bradford, Pa. In 1901, after a visit to Paris, France, the Holley brothers obtained a license to produce and sell the French Longemer Carburetor in the United States, also known as the “iron pot.” That same year, George built his first motorized bicycle, which ran at the breakneck speed of 25 mph. The Holley brothers were among the first to go into the motorbike industry in the United States, and their product sold extensively. In 1903, Henry Ford asked George Holley to make a carburetor for the Model T, which was sold to Ford in 1905.  The brothers subsequently moved from Pennsylvania to Detroit, with George Sr. settling on Burns Avenue. Sensing a trend in industrial specialization, they decided to exclusively design and build carburetors and ignition-system components for various car makers; the Holley Brothers Company was born. The first Detroit plant opened in 1907, and the company rebranded under the Holley Carburetor Co. in January 1918. After developing carburetors to be used by airlines and other companies, Holley produced approximately half of all the military carburetors used in World War II.  
Rev. Holley’s grandfather, heavily involved in the community and philanthropy, would give workers and their children money for college, believing in the importance of higher education. In 1944 Mr. Holley established the Holley Foundation “to help young men and women who are ‘up against it’ to get an education.” Rev. Holley’s grandfather died in 1963.  The Holley brothers are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery near the Ford family—Edsel & Eleanor, Benson & Edith, and William Clay Sr—graves.
In the late 1950s, Rev. Holley’s father, George Jr., conducted the business of the Foundation with the help of his brother John Holley and his sister Margery Kuehn of Milwaukee, WI. They made numerous grants to organizations and schools in the Detroit and Milwaukee area. In the late 1970s, the board of the Foundation decided it was time to bring in the next generation of the family. After Rev. Holley’s father died in 1984, John and Margery ran the Foundation. In 1990 Rev. Holley’s generation (the third generation) took over. In 2001 the Trustees narrowed their granting focus to the Southeastern Village where their grandfather originally lived. The fourth-generation, under the leadership of Lynn Krugman and Rev. Holley’s younger brother Stephen, both of Baltimore, MD, are now managing the Foundation and are looking to bring on the 5th generation. They intend to do “lasting good,” and they certainly have kept that promise.  We are so proud to have their continued support for our students, families, and educators!