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Class of 2019 Promotional Ceremony

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 was a joyous occasion as we celebrated the accomplishments of our eighth grade students. Family, friends, Detroit Public Schools Community District staff and the Detroit Lions Organization gathered at Ford Field to honor the graduating class of 2019. These students grew academically and prevailed through all obstacles stacked against them. The young ladies were beautiful and the young men were handsome dressed in their blue cap and gowns. Dr. Nikolai Vitti (DPSCD Superintendent), Jamal Agnew (Detroit Lions cornerback), Lomas Brown (former NFL offensive tackle) and the Band of Brothers (Christian mentoring group) were among the honorary guest speakers. Each student wore a smile as they beamed with pride. As each student's name was called they walked onto the stage to receive their promotional certificate, along with a football bearing their name from the Detroit Lions Organization. Parents and guests clapped and took pictures to cherish this milestone. In memory of their brother, the Band of Brothers awarded the Steve Bryan Scholarship of $500 to Selena Brown and Amarion Crump for their academic achievements. The Detroit Lions Organization presented Selena Clark, Elijah Hills and Corday Clayton with $10,000 scholarships for their 2019 Inspire Change essay submissions. The entire event was celebratory and motivational. Jamal Agnew's speech spoke of the importance of being accountable and taking advantage of opportunities. Steve Hamp, son-in-law of Detroit Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford, announced that the Detroit Promise will provide two and four year college educations to Detroit high school graduates. All graduates qualify to receive two years of tuition free education at one of the participating colleges and if a graduates meets specific requirements they can receive four years of tuition free education at a participating university. Principal Alean King gave heartfelt closing remarks as she reflected on the school year and shared her motivational quotes. Principal King fought hard to hold back her tears. 

Being able to see our students take the stage and be recognized for graduating to the ninth grade proves that our program works. At Detroit Lions Academy, we continue to make positive changes to support the growth of the "Whole Child". Detroit Lions Academy gives students and families hope. We provide an opportunity for over-age youth to get the skills they need to go on to high school. Yesterday we cried tears of joy and we will miss our class of 2019 graduates. Now we prepare for the next group of eighth grade students that we must prepare to grace the stage in the future as the class of 2020.

We would like to thank the Detroit Lions Organization and The Band of Brothers for their generosity and continual support. We also thank The Detroit Free Press and Fox 2 News for documenting the event.

Graduates waving to parents and guests at the close of the ceremony Principal King posing with guests Scholarship winners, Selena Clark, Corday Clayton and Elijah Hills with members of the Detroit Lions Organization Amarion Crump and Selena Clark, winners of the Steve Bryan scholarship DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikkolai Vitti, Principal Alean King and Jen McCollum of the Detroit Lions OrganizationGraduates Tawauna Smith, Tra'Kneese Ward, Selena Clark