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Henry Ford Valedictorian Rises to the Top

Phillip Dotson, the Henry Ford High School class of 2019 valedictorian, is an example of strength and success among all who know him. Phillip’s educational journey did not always come easy. He describes an attitude switch he experienced when entering high school, which put him on the path to success.

“Before high school I wasn’t the best student. My mentality changed when I got to 9th grade, and I set a goal to become the valedictorian,” said Dotson. “I had to develop a strategy to study, not all work came easy to me, and I understood that I had to pay attention in class to complete my homework.”

Phillip credits the mentoring group he joined in 9th grade, Mentoring Through Media, directed by Marquis Herring for boosting his success. He also chose to pay homage to Ms. Harvey and Ms. Lampley, teachers of Henry Ford High School, who ensured his learning experience was gratifying.

Phillip was a star athlete at Henry Ford participating in varsity football and track. Additionally, he served as the President of the National Junior Honor Society while representing Henry Ford High School on DPSCD’s Student Advisory Council, which is hosted by Superintendent Dr. Vitti and challenges students to speak about how they can make their environment better and how the District can support them.

Phillip will be majoring in accounting at Wayne state University, where he received a full academic scholarship. He expresses that despite challenging moments in his life he gained personal insight that helped him to prevail in moments of doubt.

“I have my little methods on how I can overcome. I listen to gospel music every morning and get it done,” said Dotson. “You can’t just give up when something bad happens. You got to keep pushing and going for what you believe in, and what your goal is.”

Five years from now, Phillip aspires to have received his bachelor’s degree in hopes to start his career at an accounting firm.