Today’s high school students have a lot of responsibility. Many students work hard to balance keeping their grades up, playing sports, working a job, maintaining family responsibilities, and more. The students in the Next Level Scholars program are no exception, and we make sure to recognize them for their accomplishments. Each year, the members of the graduating class who have maintained perfect attendance throughout all three years of the Next Level Scholars program, are given special recognition.
The Class of 2020 has 68 out of 111 students who have attended every single program event over three years. By attending SAT preparation, campus visits, etiquette and networking workshops, and more, they have remained highly engaged. They have truly taken advantage of all the resources and opportunities provided by Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars. These students have made an impressive commitment to their own success in life after high school. We are proud that each of them has made the Next Level Scholars program a priority, while balancing numerous other responsibilities. These students have each received a blue satin graduation stole in recognition of their attendance record.
Congratulations to the following members of the Class of 2020 on achieving perfect attendance throughout the three-year Next Level Scholars program!
Next Level Scholars Program Advisers Celebrate Five Years of Service
At Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars, our mission is to help local students prepare for life after high school, through academic support and scholarships, to enable post-secondary success. Everything we do is focused on providing the support and resources that our students need to succeed. Over the course of three-years, students in the Next Level Scholars program visit post-secondary institutions, talk with admissions professionals, gain test-taking skills, and more. With 13 partner high schools, and more than 350 students per year, we couldn’t provide all these great experiences to students without our dedicated Next Level Scholars Program Advisers.
These Advisers are the teachers and counselors who are inspiring our students every day. They are the leaders who help to make the Next Level Scholars program so successful. Each year we celebrate milestone anniversaries with our Advisers.
This year, we’d like to congratulate the following Advisers on five years of service with Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars:
Steve Bowers, Mason High School
“Mr. Bowers puts his heart into DRDFS, and I appreciate everything that he does for us. He is a Mason and DRDFS gem. Thank you, Mr. Bowers!” – Mason Student
“My Adviser has helped me strive to meet expectations for colleges. I appreciate my adviser because he believes in me.” – Mason Student
Brandi Huff, Lincoln High School
“Mrs. Huff has been nothing but helpful during these three years I’ve had with her. Not only was she a reliable Adviser, but I could also count on her at school as well. My DRDFS journey would not have been nearly as enjoyable without her. Thank you!” – Lincoln Student
“Thank you for introducing me to DRDFS. You made me feel welcomed and helped me get used to the atmosphere. You’re friendly and funny, thank you!” – Lincoln Student
Jacob Mikula, Detroit Cristo Rey High School
“My Adviser has supported me since the day I found out I was accepted into Next Level Scholars. From attending all the trips with huge smiles, to making sure we always have what we need, my Advisers are always there.” – Detroit Cristo Rey High School Student
“What makes my Advisor Mr. Mikula the best is that he is so funny. I remember when I was a freshman and I had his class I actually enjoyed going to his class even though I don’t like English. I appreciate him because he made it possible for me to have this opportunity.” – Detroit Cristo Rey High School Student
Hillary Tye, Berkley High School
“Thank you Mrs. Tye for all you have done for me. I greatly appreciate it. You have helped me immensely with starting to look at different colleges and I thank you for that.” – Berkley Student
“Our Adviser has always made it her business to not only reach out to us, but listen to us and our needs. I would like to thank her for always being so kind.” – Berkley Student
Since the beginning of our partnerships at Berkley, Detroit Cristo Rey, Lincoln, and Mason high schools in 2015, these Advisers have remained dedicated to our shared mission! We are thankful for their commitment to students, and all that they contribute to our program! To commemorate this milestone and share our gratitude, these Advisers will be presented with a special five-year dedication award. Congratulations, Steve, Brandi, Jacob, and Hillary! We’re looking forward to celebrating many more milestones with all of our incredible Next Level Scholars Program Advisers for years to come.
The 2020 Provost Scholarship for Business recipient is announced!
Each year, Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars (DRDFS) awards scholarships to graduating seniors. Upon completing the three year academic support program, Next Level Scholars, each student receives $4,000 towards the post-secondary institution of their choice. Collectively, the Class of 2020 will receive $500,000 in DRDFS scholarship awards.
Part of that total, is the second-annual Provost Scholarship for Business.The Provost Scholarship for Business is a four-year, $40,000 scholarship that is open for application to all students in the Next Level Scholars program who are interested in pursuing a degree in business from Eastern Michigan University (EMU).
This scholarship goes a long way to break down the financial barrier to post-secondary education, and can be transformational in the life of a student. David Provost, Chairman of TCF Bank and former scholarship recipient, was inspired to give back to local students by establishing his own scholarship fund.
DRDFS is proud to announce the recipient of the 2020 Provost Scholarship for Business, Huriel Gonzalez-Hernandez. “I am beyond thankful not only for the guidance from Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars, but also to Mr. David Provost for his generosity and the opportunity he granted me to attend Eastern without taking on student debt.” Gonzalez-Hernandez, a senior at Detroit Cristo Rey High School, and first-generation college student, is excited for what his future holds.
On announcement day, Provost visited Detroit Cristo Rey High School to announce the award in person at the morning school-wide assembly. His classmates cheered as Gonzalez-Hernandez was handed an oversized check with his name on it, representing the scholarship award. Following the award announcement, Provost and Gonzalez-Hernandez took some time to talk with each other about EMU, post-secondary goals, and career aspirations.
“Huriel is a very bright student at Detroit Cristo Rey. This [scholarship] gives him the opportunity to expand his skills, to make him a better student, and better member of society. And one day, he can help others.” Provost said.
We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with Provost in awarding this scholarship! We know these awardees will continue to accomplish great things as they navigate life after high school.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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!
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.)