During the last month, I had the privilege of meeting with numerous principals across the city of Detroit. Some took me on extensive tours of their buildings, presenting vibrant communities of learning where students appeared happy and engaged. In one school I met two young men, dressed in suits, on their way to a choral performance. At another school, the strength of community was on display in a fitness room that had been opened for family use. At still another school, I witnessed the unwavering dedication of parents who were gathered for a school-sponsored session about better understanding their adolescents.
A less rosy reality, however, was an undercurrent in many meetings. With budget cuts looming in the city and numerous programs long gone, many of the principals with whom I met were worried. Detroit’s population is dwindling, which means that schools consistently have to deal with decreased funding. The recent turmoil in the city has led to even greater cut-backs, and, as of yesterday, it also looks like the district is ready to be taken over by the state.
If you know Detroit, you know that the city is in bad shape and that its high school graduation rate is the lowest in the country among large districts. But, like struggling schools everywhere, there are dedicated educators in the Detroit Public Schools who are working hard to set their students on the right path for the future. The Generation Project is thus pleased to announce that, starting this month, we will begin implementing gifts in the Detroit Public Schools and in a few other districts across the country.
This is not our official launch. That’s coming later this year, when we’ll roll out our full website with appropriate pomp and circumstance. Right now, though, about a dozen of our donors have decided that they don’t want to wait for our official launch. They are ready to begin making a direct and personal impact and have pledged a wide range of gifts that resonate with their own beliefs about what educational experiences are truly life-changing. Our initial donors range in age from 13 to 66, live all over the country, and have a variety of passions they want to share with low-income students. As initial gifts are implemented, we will update the blog. Our hope is that students in Detroit and in our other launch regions (which will include one or more of the following cities: Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.) will experience increased life opportunities because of the generosity of these donors.
Once our full website is launched, gifts will be posted directly to the website where students and educators can claim them directly. Until then, though, we will be emailing available gifts to schools in our targeted launch regions that have expressed interest in being one of our pilot sites. If you are an educator or a student interested in learning more about how you can benefit from our donors, please contact me at email@example.com. If you are considering giving a gift through The Generation Project you can either Pledge a Gift or contact me directly if you want to implement your gift within the next few months.