Education

Story by Jessica Carreras. Photos by Sydney Kispert-Bostick.

August 11, 2017

Delivering on the potential of students

When it comes to education in Detroit, says United Way for Southeastern Michigan President and CEO Dr. Herman Gray, “The stakes are high and failure is not an option.” But a recent community gathering hosted by United Way to welcome Detroit Public Schools Community District Supt. Nikolai Vitti and discuss education in Detroit showed that the future looks bright and that people are optimistic. 

The event, held at the Fischer Building Aug. 1, served as a kickoff to Dr. Vitti’s first school year as superintendent, and also highlighted the unique, growing partnership between United Way and DPSCD. 

Dr. Vitti and Dr. Gray pose for a photo
Dr. Vitti speaks at a podium

“United Way is uniquely positioned to connect corporate, nonprofit and community partners,” explains United Way Vice President of Education Tammie Jones. “This event was a great opportunity to show our support for the district and Dr. Vitti, and also to build upon the existing work that we do.” 

“We’re making sure everyone in the city gives their support, because our kids deserve it.” 

United Way’s work in Detroit high schools builds college and career pathways for students. 

“Our job is to support the strategic vision of DPSCD and to ensure that every student gets three things: work-based learning experience, a marketable certification and the opportunity to earn college credits while in high school,” Dr. Gray shared with an audience of more than 200 at the gathering with Dr. Vitti.  

“All children can do great things if they have access to a quality education.”

Both United Way and DPSCD are enthusiastic about moving forward toward more educational success in Detroit.

“All children can do great and wonderful things, but that greatness and potential never is fulfilled unless children have access to a high-level, quality education from pre-K all the way to 12th grade,” Dr. Vitti said. “We have to stop talking about the potential of children and actually delivering and actualizing that potential.”