Only about a third of Detroit’s public high school students graduate in four years, according to researchers at Michigan State University.
Improving on that statistic isn’t easy. The city is in dire economic and financial trouble, and as former NBA star and hometown hero Jalen Rose notes,
- “Traditional banks are reluctant to finance
- new public schools — particularly innovative
- ones —because of the perceived riskin investing
- in low-income community development. " - Jalen Rose
So when Operation Graduation began raising money for improvements at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, it turned to NCB Capital Impact, a national CDFI with a long record of successfully financing promising charter schools. The result: $1.1 million for the expansion of the school to accommodate 480 students and create 17 new jobs.
Jalen considers the academy a success story that will one day bear replication.
- “Creating educational and professional opportunities
- in Detroit is important and necessary,
- and it’s not, as some funders would have
- you believe, risky. In fact, it’s risky not to." - Jalen Rose