In the two months I have been in Detroit as the Operational VP for Sodexo’s Facilities Team serving the Detroit Public Schools, I have thought back to my own time in school.

If your experience was like mine, you’ll remember that at the end of each day, your teacher required you to put your chair on the desk before going home.  It was a discipline designed to give you a sense of responsibility and also to help the custodian keep the classroom clean.

Today, in order to create school environments within DPS that are safe and healthy, the community must work together.  To be successful, it is truly a team effort between facilities teams, administrators, teachers, parents, students and neighbors to keep classrooms, bathrooms, hallways and school grounds clean.

Businesses operating in Detroit also share in the responsibility to support student well being and achievement. That is why Sodexo supports the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.  Our support has given our company a chance to get engaged in the community quickly, with immediate, positive results.  Many of our 600 Detroit employees are parents and grandparents of DPS students.  They are working in the community every day to make our schools better places.

As I have worked around the country, I have seen school districts both big and small benefit from the support of educational foundations.  They help keep the community and alumni engaged in supporting education because communities need to be as creative as possible to provide resources to students.

Supporting the Foundation is an act like keeping a school clean, safe and healthy.  It shows responsibility for today’s students and respect for the community.  It’s like putting your chair on your desk at the end of the day, something we need more of across Detroit.