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Pistons owner Tom Gores foundation donates $1 million to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit — The partnership between the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and Detroit Pistons team owner Tom Gores continues to strengthen.

The Detroit school announced Wednesday that it will receive a donation of $1 million from the Tom Gores Family Foundation, to help with facility expansion and other infrastructure improvements on its campus. 

Tom Gores

It’s a continuation of the partnership between the school, founded by Detroit native Jalen Rose and Gores. The donation will help fill the funding gap created because the school receives no state funding for its facility.

“Tom and Holly Gores have been with us since the early days and their support has made our success possible,” Rose, the former Michigan star, said in a joint statement. “Schools like ours rely on donors to bridge the funding gap to ensure we reach our ambitious goals. The Gores family and the Pistons organization have been our largest supporters.

“They’ve been vocal about the need to invest in our community, and more importantly, they’ve consistently put action behind their words. I hope their generosity encourages others to support our efforts.”

Gores and JRLA have had a long partnership that dates to 2013 and is one of several Detroit entities that Gores has supported, including Bing Youth Institute, City Year, SAY Detroit and Peace Players.

 JRLA, in its 10th year, is ranked among the top open-enrollment high schools in Detroit, according to U.S. News. The school has a 98% graduation rate, with 73% of those going to college within the first year after graduation.

“Jalen and the team at JRLA have created an environment that is changing lives for students and their families in Detroit,” Gores said in the statement. “Investing in education, especially in communities that too often go overlooked, is vital in the fight for social justice and equality. Kids in our community need better opportunities and a more level playing field, and it’s clear that what JRLA is doing works.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard