• Rick Joseph

Endurance Through it All

Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern endures.

Despite the challenges surrounding Detroit Public Schools, DCP at Northwestern continues to meet the needs of the kids it serves, one student at a time. As guest of physical educator Ray Williams, I was excited to have the opportunity to spend some time at DCP@NW.

Ray showed me the state-of the-art gym and pool facility that was made possible through the support of a partnership with Ford and the UAW. I also was able to see the library, which had been recently renovated through a gift from the Detroit Pistons. Ray made it clear that while DPS has a number of systemic challenges, there is a significant amount of variance in the staff and facilities from building to building across the city.

What struck me most about my time with Ray was his unwavering dedication to the students he serves. He, like so many DPS teachers, could switch to a less challenged district but he chooses to stay and serve kids who need him. Recently, when he had some health problems, Ray was overwhelmed with the overflow of love and support from his students. "When I thought about all the messages and comments I was hearing, I thought to myself, 'How could I ever leave that?'"

Ray hopes the new financial arrangement in DPS will provide some stability for the longer term. In the meantime, he will continue to serve his kids, one student at a time.

These students at DCP@NW represent the ethic of service to others made clear in the images behind them

Physical Education teacher Ray Williams in the newly renovated gym

The natatorium stands ready to hopefully host a swim team this school year

The JROTC rifle range will be back in action this year providing a disciplined approach to learning a new skill

Northwestern has a long, proud history serving students who go on to serve Detroit and beyond