Suited for Success 2020

Congratulations, Class of 2020!

This year, our College Decision Day celebration, Suited for Success, is taking place virtually! Each student will receive a Suited for Success kit in the mail, containing everything needed to celebrate. More than 100 graduating seniors will announce on video where they will be headed in the fall to continue their education. Selecting a post-secondary institution is a life-changing event, and something that Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars is proud to celebrate with our students and their families.




Watch Video Messages From Your Advisers!


Ms. Belsky, Berkley High School

Mr. Bowers, Mason Senior High School 

Ms. Benson, Madison High School 

Ms. Carroll, Clintondale High School

Ms. Eid, Melvindale High School

Ms. Huff, Lincoln High School 

Mr. Joseph, Henry Ford II High School 

Mr. Leonard, Ida High School

Ms. McCloud, Stevenson High School 

Mr. Mikula, Detroit Cristo Rey High School

Mr. Taylor, Ypsilanti Community High School

Ms. Tye, Berkley High School

Ms. Willerick, Romulus High School


College Decision Video Instructions

Step 1: Set the Scene

Find a quiet, well-lit area in your home. Get your college t-shirt and any other props you might have ready to go and plan what you’re going to say and do! Maybe consider involving your family to cheer you on, have a chant ready for your college, etc. The sky is the limit! There’s a prize for the most spirited video, so bring your creativity and excitement!

Step 2: Make the Announcement

Ask a family member to help with filming, or find a spot to set your phone to film and make the big announcement! Make sure your voice and college choice can be clearly heard and seen on screen!

Make sure to announce the following as clearly as possible: “My name is _________ and I’ll be attending __________ in the fall.”

Step 3: Send it in

Send your video in to us using the form located here.

Social Media

We encourage you to share your Suited for Success kit unboxing photos on Instagram! Make sure to tag @drd4s, and use the hashtag #DRDFSDecisionDay and #IDecided.


Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Post-Secondary

Make sure to download your copy of the DRDFS Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Post-Secondary. It’s full of information and tips that will help you have a successful post-secondary experience!


Well Wishes for the Class of 2020

  • “Congratulations and much success to my son and the class of 2020! Keep working hard and never give up!” – Carla W., Parent of a Next Level Scholar
  • “Congratulations graduates of 2020! NOTHING can hold you back— you got this! Best of luck in your future endeavors!” – Adam D., DRDFS Supporter
  • “Thank you all for giving me someone to look up to in the program! I’m so excited to see you guys live out your dreams! Congratulations on making it through the program!” – Monica D., Next Level Scholar
  • “Best wishes to the Class of 2020! The road might have been long, with bumps, and hills, low spots and high spots, but you made it. Congratulations Class of 2020!” – Annie R., Next Level Scholar
  • “Having attended the luncheon for the past two years I can tell you how inspiring your stories are. Your desire to learn, to expand your view of the world, and to work hard will provide you with opportunities that will be life changing.  Being able to support your dreams has been very satisfying to all of us who have come to know this program.  Wishing you much success and happiness as you find your way in the world with the ultimate goal of making a difference.” – Michael M., DRDFS Supporter
  • “I’m so proud of the Class of 2020 for the hard work and success. I wish them good luck to more success as they move forward to their future.” – Maria O., Parent of a Next Level Scholar
  • “Congratulations to all of you graduating this year and moving onto the next chapter of your lives.  This will be an exciting and challenging time, but continuing the commitment you have made to your education is extremely important. All of us out here supporting you could not be more proud of each and every one of you.  We wish nothing but the best for you in furthering your education and in your personal lives.  Continue to make us proud!” – Frank P., DRDFS Supporter
  • “Congratulations on achieving a major milestone! Great results come from hard work. May your degree unlock many doors for you. Wishing you all the best.” – Lydia M., DRDFS Supporter
  • “Congratulations!  You did it.  What an accomplishment.  Please know that I am sending you well wishes and inspiration from afar.” – Chris S., DRDFS Supporter
  • “Dear Class of 2020, it has been so great getting to know some of you and I know all of you will succeed after high school. I hope the college experience treats you well and you come back to share some stories as a college freshman. Wishing you all the best.” – Kamio G., Next Level Scholar


Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars is proud to partner with the Michigan College Access Network to bring a virtual Suited for Success experience to our students. Click here to learn more.

Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation Party!

It’s a unique graduation season for the Class of 2020. This year, our senior students will be participating virtually in our college decision day celebration, Suited for Success. Starting on May 1st, National College Decision Day, each member of our largest graduating class yet will announce where they are headed to continue their education.

Click here to learn more about College Decision Day in Michigan!

Graduating from high school is a special achievement, and deciding on a post-secondary institution is life changing. Help us to inspire and congratulate the Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars Class of 2020! Please fill out the form below with words of encouragement and well wishes for these incredible students.


Watch the video below to see the excitement of last year’s Suited for Success celebration!


Next Level Scholars Launches Online Programming


Over the past few weeks, the landscape of education has transformed rapidly. As a result of widespread school closures, students are studying from home. At Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars, we know that it is more important than ever to do all we can to advance our mission to help local students prepare for life after high school.  In order to keep students engaged, the Next Level Scholars program has moved online, starting with SAT prep sessions. On March 26, students logged on to a virtual classroom to learn test tips from tutors at The Princeton Review. All students were mailed SAT 101 workbooks and other relevant materials, so that they would be prepared ahead of time.

During the test prep sessions, students interacted with the tutors, asked questions, used problem solving skills, and learned from one another. One of the responses during a morning session read, “I love how in-depth the explanations were. The teacher didn’t just give us an answer, but explained why and how to tackle each question with different methods.”

Another benefit of hosting SAT prep online, is that all students automatically received a recording of the session they attended, plus some additional test prep resources. They will be able to reference what they learned again and again while studying for the SAT.

We look forward to launching even more Next Level Scholars programming online in the weeks and months to come, and continuing to support our students in new ways.


(Below: Images captured during the March 26 Online SAT Prep session with The Princeton Review.)








Alumni Emergency Fund


It’s been more than two weeks since college campuses across the nation began to close down in order to protect the health of their students. In doing this, college students were faced with evacuating their dorms, leaving their on-campus jobs, and losing access to campus dining.

On Friday, March 13, our Board of Directors acted fast to approve an Alumni Emergency Fund. This fund was established to assist Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars alumni who are currently enrolled in post-secondary education with food support, housing support, transportation home, and online learning support. A survey was sent to alumni that afternoon, and the requests for assistance were overwhelming. DRDFS staff worked through the weekend talking with alumni about their needs and what could be done to help.

One student at Howard University responded to the survey with worries that she couldn’t find transportation home, and needed a storage unit for some of her belongings she had to leave behind. Another student was quarantined and in need of food assistance after having recently tutored someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Numerous students could no longer use computer labs, and had no other computer access to complete online coursework. DRDFS staff was able to respond in real time to these requests for assistance. The first student to submit a request received a response and solution in less than 15 minutes.

Thanks to the Jacob Family Foundation and generous personal gifts from members of our Board of Directors, DRDFS has been able to provide students with laptops, a Wi-Fi hot-spot, gift cards to get groceries, and more. Students who submitted requests for assistance were contacted within 24 hours. Since then, 22 requests have been approved and fulfilled, totaling more than $2,500 in aid.

The student responses listed below really highlight the impact of this support:

    • “Thank you so much!! I didn’t know how I was going to get my work done. I’ve been overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do over the past few days and was so relieved when I got the email from DRDFS.”
    • “Thank you so much. You don’t know how grateful I am. This means so much.”
    • “Thank you so much! I can’t even tell you how much it will help! I can definitely rest much easier now.

We are thankful to be able to offer additional support to our alumni in emergency situations like this. The Alumni Emergency Fund is another way that DRDFS is helping students succeed in higher education. You can support the Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars Alumni Emergency Fund by clicking here.


Reminder to DRDFS Alumni: This fund is still accepting applications. Click here to apply for assistance.



7th Annual Celebration Luncheon, 2020 (EVENT POSTPONED)


The health and well-being of our students and supporters is our highest priority. We are committed to taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  In step with the recommendations of Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the University of Detroit Mercy on public gatherings of 100 people or more, we have decided to postpone the Celebration Luncheon.


We will take the next 60-90 days to review and plan, and will look forward to announcing a rescheduled date so that we can celebrate 30 years of helping local students prepare for life after high school.

All of us at Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars are thankful for your continued support and for your understanding in this important matter.



Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why was the event postponed?

The health and well-being of our students and supporters is our highest priority. We are committed to taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In step with the recommendations of Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the University of Detroit Mercy on public gatherings of 100 people or more, we have decided to postpone the Celebration Luncheon.

  • When will the rescheduled event take place?

We will take the next 60-90 days to review and plan, and will look forward to announcing a rescheduled date so that we can celebrate 30 years of helping local students prepare for life after high school.

  • How will I be notified when the event is rescheduled?

We will notify all registered attendees by email, and we will post the new date publicly on our website ( and social media channels.

  • Will the event program and lineup remain the same?

During our rescheduling process, we will do our best to keep our event program as consistent with the original as possible.

  • I’ve already made a donation or purchased a ticket. What now?

Thank you for your support of local students! Your contribution will continue to provide resources for more than 350 student participants in Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars. Any contribution or ticket purchase will apply to the rescheduled event.  In the case that you’d like to discuss your donation further, please contact Christa Funk at

  • Can I still purchase a ticket or donate to the rescheduled event?

Yes! We are still accepting ticket purchases and sponsorship donations. For individual tickets, please click here. For questions about sponsorship information, please contact Lindsey Pavlov at

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