Mostly Cloudy   58.0F  |  Forecast »

Detroit Public Schools Parent Volunteer Deirdre Young

This DPS alumna is proud to motivate the next generation of students – from her son who's just starting school to the middle and high school students she exposes to a career in dentistry

For Deirdre Young, deciding what school to enroll her 5-year-old son, Charles IV, was a no-brainer. She knew he'd attend Detroit Public Schools' Golightly Education Center.

It was, after all, where she began her own education, one that spanned her entire primary education at DPS, culminating in her graduation from Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, now known as Detroit School of Arts (DSA). And it was the knowledge she gained from her DPS education that gave her the tools to succeed in college and go on to become the director of multicultural affairs at the University of Detroit Mercy's School of Dentistry.

Deirdre Young, DDS

"This is a very great moment for me to have my son be a part of a legacy that I was a part of," Young says. "I think it's important to not forget your roots and though I have gone to college and professional school, my roots are Detroit Public Schools and I wanted my son to get exposure to that, as well."

Charles is currently enrolled in the school's pre-K HighScope program, which emphasizes active learning, so students have hands-on experiences with people, objects and ideas.

"They're based upon three concepts: plan, do and review. This enables the students to express themselves and be very engaged while they are learning language," Young says.

When he first started school, Charles wasn't ready to detach from his mom, but thanks to his teacher, Lori Golani, and his teacher's aid, Lori Maddy, he has flourished. Young and her husband, Charles III, are both happy with the progress their son has made in his first year and the confidence he has gained.

Charles is also part of the school's summer program and has gotten exposure to local landmarks, such as The Henry Ford Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Zoo, through field trips.

"I love that they do field trips that are engaging my child to think beyond ABC and 1-2-3," she says.

Although Young's job makes it difficult to volunteer in Charles' classroom, she has been trying to give back to the students in the district.

"I bring middle school and high school Detroit Public Schools students to our dental school," she says.

Known as the Dental Imprint Program and conducted throughout the academic school year, this is an opportunity for students to get early exposure to the dental field.

The program started in 2009 with four schools. Now, 10 Detroit Public Schools – including Dr. Benjamin Carson High School for Science and Medicine, Detroit School of Arts, Cass Technical High School and Renaissance High School – are involved.

In addition to her work with DPS, Young acts as a mentor for Tour for Diversity in Medicine or T4D, which is a "grassroots effort to educate, inspire and cultivate future minority physicians and dentists." She and other professionals travel nationally to educate undergraduate students of underrepresented minorities about careers in the medical field.

Locally and nationally, this mom of two helps promote education and a love of lifelong learning – a love that started with DPS.

"It was a very cultivating environment," Young says. "Teachers believed in me and took an interest in my interests."

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

If you haven't seen the wonder that is the Grand Canyon, you owe it to yourself and your kids to go.

Family Structure: Its Importance and How to Create It

Family Structure: Its Importance and How to Create It

Feeling more like a frazzled family these days? Help fix the problem by creating some structure to help your kids feel secure.

Five Ways to Build Structure in Your Family

Five Ways to Build Structure in Your Family

From chore charts to meal plans, here are a few ways to keep families organized.

Play Food Lollipops Craft for Kids

Play Food Lollipops Craft for Kids

Everyone wants a sweet treat after dinner, even if it's for an imaginary meal! Get the tutorial on how to make these old-school treats reimagined as toys.

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Whether you just want to run an errand or need to hit the gym for a break, it could be time to let your tween stay home alone. Here are a few ways to know your kid is prepared to stay alone.

Sanity Saving Tips for Parents

Sanity Saving Tips for Parents

Avoid the chaos this school season with our ABCs of self-care. We've got 26 ways to enter a more Zen state.

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin-Seed Granola Bars

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin-Seed Granola Bars

Macomb County mom and restaurant-family vet Natalie Buscemi-Hindman keeps recipes simple and delicious – just like this one.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement