Students in the Next Level Scholars (NLS) program started the school year with a new outlook. All 14 of our partner high schools are back to in-person instruction for the first full school year since 2019, and NLS has begun to return to in-person programming as well. There’s no substitute for the student experience of stepping foot on a college campus, many for the first time, and feeling a sense of belonging. Campus visits and other events are most impactful when students can tour a dorm room, meet admissions representatives, and interact with their peers. We are excited for our high school seniors to find their best fit, for our junior class to learn SAT tips from professional tutors, and for our new sophomore’s to see how many opportunities are really available to them.

NLS Program Advisers Keep Students Inspired

To ensure our students have consistent support, each of our 14 partner high schools has at least one NLS Program Adviser. Our advisers are teachers or counselors who work directly with the students in their high school every day, and help coordinate all NLS program trips and activities. Advisers play a valuable role in helping to inform and mold our programming to be most impactful to the students that they know best.

Prior to the start of each school year, we bring our advisers together to review the upcoming programming. The event is filled with mission-focused activities and sessions for advisers to provide feedback. On August 25th, advisers gathered at the University of Michigan Detroit Center for the 2021-2022 Kick Off. They were able to reconnect in-person and participate in fun team-building exercises. The day ended with advisers feeling excited to implement programming as they return to in-person events.

We are thankful to work with partner schools and advisers who remain passionate about our collective mission year after year. With the help of these meaningful kick-off gatherings ahead of each school year, advisers are more equipped to recruit, support, and inspire the NLS students at their respective schools. Collectively, our advisers function as a team dedicated to driving student success for the NLS program as a whole.

Visit our website at to see our full listing of partner high schools.

Students Make Exciting Return to In-Person Campus Visits

On September 29th, juniors in the NLS program visited Eastern Michigan University (EMU) for our first in-person student event since March 2020!

To start the day, students reconnected with one another, played an icebreaker game, and heard a presentation from EMU Admissions. Afterwards, students split into groups and were guided on a campus walking tour. On the tour, students explored academic buildings and dorms, all while learning about student life on campus, sports, clubs, dining, and more. They were able to ask questions and talk with their tour guides, who were current EMU students, for a first-hand account of what it’s really like to attend EMU.

Students and advisers headed back to school with new information to consider when making decisions on their futures.

Reflecting on the tour, one student said “I really am grateful that we get to do these kind of field trips. It really helps us explore what is out there.” Another shared that they were drawn to the “welcoming nature, opportunities, and clubs on campus.” She added, “I could picture myself attending [EMU], doing work, and living my college life here!”

The fall semester is a refreshing reset to the possibilities that lie ahead this school year. The Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars (DRDFS) community is excited to reconnect in-person and collaborate to inspire and prepare students to succeed.

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