Dear Detroit_#2

Detroit, I am still blown away by the beauty of your community.  On a daily, I find myself thinking how lucky I am to be experiencing your streets, events, residents, and rich culture.  My breath has been renewed.

Recently, I went on a run through your streets, on my cool down, I paused to take in the setting sun reflect off your standing buildings, the rhythmic chaos caused by summer construction, and the friendly homeless man on the corner.  Your streets tell stories that go beyond the abandoned homes and buildings.  Your city is full of history that I have yet to learn; People I have yet to meet; Stories I have yet to experience. Gracias por compartir conmigo.

Working with Osborn Neighborhood Alliance (ONA) places me in the heart of Osborn community, where we interact with the residents who call Osborn home.  ONA offers so many services to their surrounding communities, and I am humbled for the opportunity of being part of it.  ONA sees a need within the community and comes together with business leaders and volunteers to create a sustaining solution for growth and an environment for families/individuals to thrive.

Detroit, you are facing many challenges.  One is being education.  Providing a quality education to Detroit children should be a right… yet this right is a far grasp within the school systems.  My heart is burdened.  How are we, as a State, okay with allowing our school systems to fail our Detroit children?  How can our children succeed without accessing or obtaining the gift of learning math and literary skills?  It is simple, they cannot.  So it baffles my mind that our State Governor sits idly in his office and declares that Detroit schoolchildren do not have a fundamental right to literacy.

I have been trusted in doing research in school Feeder Patterns.  Feeder patterns are the flow of schools that the students take as they progress through their education.  The patterns are determined by the location of the students’ residence and that location within the school boundary.  Elementary Schools feed Middle Schools, which feed High Schools.  Within Detroit, there are several school systems in place, Education Achievement Authority (EAA) Schools and Detroit Public Schools (DPS) being two.  However, EAA Schools are set to close, which means students need to attend/find another school, and preferably, their neighborhood schools.  However, parents are electing in sending their children outside their school districts due to various concerns: blight along Safe Route To School zones, schools poor academic performance, lack of teachers, etc.  My research is to put together a presentation with my amazing cohort, Leah, around feeder patterns and environmental factors which prevents a safe route to school (blight), and present our findings to the Board of Education and Community leaders.  ONA is hoping to receive funding from our project (no pressure on Leah and I).

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