On Wednesday, September 15th, Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars (DRDFS) supporters and alumni gathered in Detroit’s Campus Martius Park for the Downtown Networking Tailgate. Many guests were learning about DRDFS for the first time, and heard from the program experts, DRDFS alumni!

Watch Event Highlights on YouTube!

Seven program alumni, all at different schools and various stages of their post-secondary journeys, were the focal point of the event. During the evening, guests made their way around to each alumni station, listening to a different alumni story. Through these stories, guests learned about the impact the DRDFS program has on its students.

Elijah D., who is a sophomore at Michigan State University, credits Dollars for Scholars with helping him break out of his comfort zone to connect with others.

Frank M., knew that Eastern Michigan University was the right fit for him when he got to visit the campus with the program, joining almost 30 other Dollars for Scholars program alumni on campus.

Esmerelda O. felt that the college fair Dollars for Scholars hosted really helped her to get all her questions answered and make the right choice to attend University of Michigan.

The program for the evening kicked off with a performance by America’s Got Talent finalists, the Detroit Youth Choir. Later in the evening one of the alumni, Maureen T., addressed the crowd. She shared her DRDFS story beginning when she was a sophomore in high school learning about the program, to present day as she plans to graduate from Oakland University this spring.

“When I first joined [DRDFS], the appeal for me was to be able to go on campus tours that I otherwise would have missed out on. I was also very involved with various extracurriculars so having this program built into my class schedule during the week really helped make my college search and application process very easy!” Maureen went on to share what DRDFS trips and events had the greatest impact on her, mentioning that the various campus visits stood out the most. “Later on in the program, and many campus tours later, Dollars for Scholars helped me choose Oakland University. With the assistance of the Dollars for Scholars scholarship, I was able to fully fund my freshman year at OU!”

Executive Director, Christa Funk, closed the program that evening by thanking guests, alumni, and the many event sponsors, including Gold Sponsors BDO, Crain Communications, Fifth Third Bank, Key Bank, Bill and Vivienne Young, and PwC. The DRDFS network of supporters helped make the Downtown Networking Tailgate an unforgettable experience of meeting new friends, learning about our alumni, and ensuring future students will receive the support and resources they need to succeed.


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