Category: Community - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins
University Preparatory Academy is committed to ensuring that their students are college-ready upon completion of high school. UPA defines a college-ready student as a student who is bright, self-aware, and resourceful, fully informed and exposed to his/her college and career options. Through a rigorous curriculum, internships and college and career counseling, the Academy is training students to be not only academically prepared for school, but also able to handle the intricacies that come along with living alone in a college or university environment. The skills necessary to excel in a higher education institution range from efficient study habits and time management skills, to personal accountability and doing laundry.
Statistics show that 17% of high school students are not college ready, joining a national problem where four out of ten high school students find that there unable to reconcile the gap between the perceived expectations of being a college student and the reality. The reality is that educators and parents have to take a more proactive role in helping students managing the expectations and encouraging student’s motivation to go on to a higher education.
Dr. Geneva Williams, CEO of University Preparatory Academy says that addressing that need and filling that gap is why UPA is hosting a new Parent and Community Engagement Series aimed at exposing parents, caregivers and students to the things that a student needs to about college and beyond to be successful entitled the “3 Degrees of Preparation” for students and parents throughout the city.
“All parents could probably benefit from hearing the real deal messages and information about what college is like. [University Prep] is increasing rigor in our curriculum and putting much more attention on our internship programs and we’re trying to involve parents more. As well as helping students understand [that when] they make the transition to college that is when they become really in control of their own education.
The first speaker in the series, Dr. Sidney Ribeau, Detroit native and president of Howard University, commented that there needs to be a push in both middle school and high school to excite and motivate students about their education and give them the skills required to be successful.
“What you see at University Prep schools is a school system that’s understanding the whole picture. “
The “whole picture” being: traditional academic skills, family life and support, getting the students familiar with the college environment.
Go online to http://uprep.com/ for more information on University Prep's curiculum and the Parent and Community Engagement Series: 3 Degrees of Preparation.
Pic cutline: Dr. Ribeau with freshman Ian Price
Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 08:03
Category: Community - Original Written by R.J. Barnhill
In the late 1960s, revolution was in the air in Detroit, with radical leftist activity focused in the Cass Corridor, a rundown area near Wayne State University. Feeling the revolutionary spirit, local artists also broke with tradition by overthrowing Modernism, the dominant New York art critical theory of the post-WWII era, and ushered in the Post-Modernism pluralism seen throughout American art in the 1970s.
Conventional wisdom has held that these Cass Corridor artists, as they have come to be called, were essentially “urban expressionists,” responding to the decay and danger of post-industrial Detroit, a thesis most thoroughly set forth in “Kick Out the Jams,” a 1980 exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. “Subverting Modernism: Cass Corridor Revisited,” a much-needed scholarly reappraisal of this art movement, debunks this notion, positing instead that each Cass Corridor artist created his or her own individual styles and meanings, cross-fertilized at times by the work of his or her fellows.
While early pieces in the show push hard at the boundaries of Modernism and Minimalism, other works break forth from these limitations to create meanings of great universality, such as our need for shelter or the persistence of the life force, both human and otherwise. Many of the works speak of Detroit, both in its industrial and post-industrial stages, but they also encompass and transcend the specifics of time and place and address issues that have significance for all humans, such as violence and vulnerability, the presence or absence of order and structure in nature and human life, and our millennial old desire to make music and dance. Thus the exhibition has been divided into eight thematic sections: “The Critique of Pure Painting and Sculpture,” “Minimalism/Industry,” “Complexity,” “Violence, Destruction, Decay... and Renewal,” “Vulnerability,” “Shelter,” “Music/Dance/Industry” and “Nature/Geometry.”
“Subverting Modernism” is a multi-year collaboration between Eastern Michigan University, the Wayne State University Art Collection, which is lending most of the works in the exhibition, and Central Michigan University.
The exhibition and accompanying 100-page catalogue allows art lovers to see important Detroit art that is not usually accessible to the public. EMU art history professor Dr. Julia R. Myers’s extensive research, which included interviewing the artists, consulting hundreds of newspaper articles from the late 1960s and 1970s, and using archival materials in both Washington, D.C. and Detroit, makes for a thoroughly new look at the exciting work of these important Detroit artists. Dr. Myers says, “The work of the Cass Corridor artists is important because it demonstrates that high quality, meaningful art can and was created in locales outside New York City, a fact that has been consistently ignored by art historians with their New York-centric bias.”
The work of Dr. Meyers is commendable and this flourishing of artistic expression in a city not traditionally viewed as an “art center” should be recognized, valued, and prized, as this exhibition will do.
The exhibit will run from March 11 through April 28 at EMU’s University Gallery, 2013 900 Oakwood St, Ypsilanti. An opening reception at University Gallery will take place on March 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. A special lecture, “Envisioning Real Utopias in Detroit,” will be conducted by Vince Carducci at the EMU Student Center, room 310 A, at 6:30 p.m. A film screening of “Images” from Detroit’s Cass Corridor, by Kathryn Brackett Luchs and Shaun Bangert, will be held at the Halle Library Auditorium on March 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 14:24
Category: Community - Original Written by Amber Bogins, Entertainment Editor
The Detroit Tigers are giving young fans a chance to be a part of the excitement of Opening Day. The Tigers are now accepting nominations for children ages 5-14 who are interested in participating in the Detroit Tigers “Kids Opening Day” on Sunday, April 7. The Tigers will host the New York Yankees. On Opening Day, 21 winners will receive four complimentary tickets to the game in addition to having the opportunity to participate in one of the following ways:
• Ceremonial first pitch (one child)
• Announce the starting lineup of Fox Sports Detroit (one child)
• Announce the starting lineup on 97.1 FM The Ticket (one child)
• Announce the starting lineups on the Comerica Park Public Address (two children)
• Announce the first two Detroit Tigers batters in the first inning (two children)
• Honorary ticket takers (two children)
• Honorary ground crew (two children)
• Honorary kids take the field (nine children)
• Lineup card delivery (one kid)
“Kids Opening Day” will mark the first “Sunday Kids Day” promotion from the baseball organization of the season. During each Sunday home game, any kid 14 and younger will receive a free promotional item, free rides on the Comerica Bank Carousel or the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel, get their face painted and have a chance to win a bicycle. And then there is the traditional “Kid Run the Bases” after the game.
In order to enter, a parent or legal guardian must submit a 250 word or fewer essay answering the question, “How do you and your child pledge to live a healthy lifestyle this summer?” Kids are allowed to write the essays, but it must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian.
The first “Every Kid, Every Sunday” giveaway for children attending the game will be a Kids Opening Day Magnet Schedule.
For more information, including official entry rules, and to submit a nomination, visit tigers.com/kidsopeningday. The deadline for submissions is March 22 at 5 p.m.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:29
Category: Community - Original Written by Yvelette Stines
When we find our purpose in life there is no turning back. When Dr. Akua Woolbright realized that she wanted to help people maintain and sustain health, her life changed and she is now doing the same for others. Woolbright is the senior Healthy Eating and Wellness Educator for Whole Foods Market in Detroit. Her journey started as a young girl. “I grew up on a farm and eating produce. We lived 15 miles from town. If we wanted some fruit, we would pick it wash it off and eat it.” This realization is important because most of her classes begin with her students identifying their food journey. “This says a lot about a person’s relationship with food,” she explains.
The path of health and nutrition started for Woolbright in 1990 when she transitioned into a vegetarian lifestyle. “I was learning about what was happening to our food supply. I started to have conversations with friends. Then I started doing lectures. I didn’t have a formal education in this topic but it felt like a calling for me. It started as a hobby and turned into a career that I love so much. After doing more and more classes, I decided to back to school and get A Ph.D in nutritional science.”
When she began working at Whole Foods Market she saw the confirmation that food can be healing. “Coming to the company, I started to understand deeply the impact that food has on health outcomes. When we think of food we need to go deeper and think about eating the foods that will repair cells organs and reverse disease,” she explains. She also noticed another aspect of healing through Whole Foods: “There is a group of health teams that are comprised of about 10 doctors who use food as their only medicine. They go away for 10 days listen to nutrition lectures, walk, hike and eat plant based foods. Through this program the people involved are coming off their medication by day 5 when they have been using prescriptions for years.” Woolbright realized that there were not enough people of color participating in programs like this and she wanted to create change.
“I asked my team leader if I could go take this message out to communities of color. Once she agreed I started doing healthy eating talks,” she says. The lectures included weekly travel to Detroit and it was her CEO that challenged her to confirm her mission. “My CEO called me out and said if you are committed to the work and traveling to Detroit, you will move to there.” Woolbright is now residing in Detroit and living out her mission by doing community outreach through healthy eating and education.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 14:19
Category: Community - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
He was never supposed to make it. They were never supposed to succeed. He is Bryant George. They are Alonte Sims, Tywonn Mitchell, Curron Thomas, Scott Jackson, Donald Owens and Dominick Altman. Black boys! The odds are dismal for a Black boy growing up in the inner city of Detroit, with meager resources, not a lot of guidance, an inferior education and not enough money to live on.
George defied the odds; he beat the streets. “The streets, where just making it to the age of 25 is quite an achievement compared to the majority of my childhood peers who are now incarcerated, deceased, or stuck” says George.
He used his athletic skills to create a path to success out of a seemingly hopeless situation. In high school, George received a Real Life 101 scholarship, laptop and a personal mentor. Madonna University took a chance on him. He was admitted, received a scholarship and competed on the Crusader basketball and cross country teams. With a 4.0 GPA his last two years, George was inducted into two national honor societies at Madonna. A criminal justice major, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2010. He was the first minority student to intern with the U.S Marshal Service, United States Secret Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agency.
Today, George works diligently and with great passion, giving back to Detroit and his alma mater. He serves as mentor, leader, and father-figure for 17 at-risk young men, who are currently pursuing four year degrees at Madonna University. And although, nationally, African American male students have a 35 percent graduation rate while attempting a four-year degree, under George’s leadership, six finished on the Dean’s List and to date the retention rate is 100% Through his role as an admissions officer and coordinator in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Madonna, George is pushing harder; the third group of students are anxiously waiting to begin their college careers at Madonna in the fall of 2013. “To recruit, enroll, and retain these students is an honor from God, and I take no credit for this kind of service,” says George.
So what’s his formula? “These young men lack discipline, someone they can continuously depend on, and the passion to acquire knowledge,” says George. He, along with Madonna University faculty, staff, and current students, try to instill these traits. The Real Life 101 program is their mentor village off campus.
George keeps the students busy. They meet weekly (a session that requires a tie and white shirt) to discuss the past week’s successes and challenges. There are church services, football games, conferences on success and leadership, and community activities, such as Bridging Lost Gaps (BLG), a pre-college program originated by George.
Through the BLG program, current students become guest speakers as they bring their college experience to Detroit public school students from prior events such as the Real Life 101 annual gala, professional development sessions hosted by Compuware Corporation, and the Mentoring Today’s Youth dinner with former Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy and Sid E. Taylor.
“I don’t think they (students) really appreciated what I was trying to teach them about succeeding at real life until Thanksgiving Day (2011), when we fed the homeless and visited a juvenile detention center,” says George.
He knew he was succeeding when he received a call from a mother thanking him, “My son doesn’t want to come home,” she said. “You may have saved his life and another statistic on the local news broadcast.”
“Leaders think and talk about the solutions, followers think and talk about the problems. I have to be a part of the solution by all means” says George.
George’s mentor, Dr. Terry Gordon, said, “It doesn’t get any better than this. I mentor Bryant through some of life’s hurdles and he turns around and gives back in a tangible, meaningful way.”
Some see stories, on the nightly news, that involve “at risk” youth getting into trouble, and they only hope that someone will do something.
Bryant George has decided to act. His mission is to take boys and make them real men.
Last Updated on Thursday, 07 March 2013 09:14
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