Letter: Dreams do begin at Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools has problems just like any other school district in this country, but ultimately DPS is still producing great life-long learners and academic achievers.

Since my enrollment in DPS, I have been able to participate in numerous after-school activities and perform community service overseas.

I traveled to Nicaragua with a group of 15 other students and three supervising adults through a DPS partner community organization, buildOn. Our visit was more about participating in community service than a vacation. We were to build a school for a small village that had been deprived of the necessary tools to provide their children with a good education.

The village we visited, Chachagua, was nothing less than spectacular and the celebratory welcome that we received was awe-inspiring. The villagers told us that they had been waiting on a proper school to be built for the children for over 40 years. The elation that the villagers expressed at our presence was sincerely priceless. I was immersed in their culture from the moment we arrived.

Those two weeks were both the most difficult and the most rewarding two weeks I’ve ever had. Each day, our group went to the work site and worked on building the school for four hours. Everything was manual, even down to mixing the cement. I worked side-by-side with other volunteers from the village and they always had a positive attitude. By the time we were preparing for departure, our progress surpassed both our expectations and the villagers’ and we were all ecstatic to have accomplished such a feat.

As I prepare to attend a school, I’ve always dreamed of attending Princeton University, in the fall, I will be forever grateful for the support I received from the District’s vast opportunities available to me.

Alia Wood, senior

Renaissance High School