DETROIT – There are thousands of eighth grade students in the Detroit school district, and officials want just as many to attend high school in Detroit.
On Saturday, eighth grader Kaden Johnson and his mother Jenell Williams were visiting Cass Technical High School, scoping out prospective high schools across Detroit.
“It’s pretty cool, a step up from middle school for sure,” Johnson said. “(They’re) going to be a lot of challenges, but I’m ready for them.”
“I’m looking at the different opportunities, because he’s also interested in culinary arts and, of course, academics,” Williams said. “He’s a scholar right now, so something that will support that role as well.
The first in-person Level Up High School Expo was held this weekend in nearly three years. The event showcases the many schools available in Detroit and what they have to offer.
The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) has partnerships with more than 200 art institutions and nonprofits, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Skillman Foundation. Through these partnerships, schools offer free arts and music programs, in addition to STEM, robotics and aerospace opportunities.
“We know that our kids in Detroit can learn, and we are committed to providing the resources,” said Chrystal Wilson with DPSCD. “I’m a DPS alumni -- it gets pretty competitive, because it becomes a generational thing.”
Student Sumayyah Piper is on the robotics team at her middle school, and she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an engineer. Her father, David, says he’s just so proud to see how far she’s come.
“For me, I’m excited to see her as a baby, to a point (now) where she’s got all of these high scores ... it’s a beautiful thing,” David Piper said.