By Ashley Michelle Williams
Jalen Rose can now add “educator” to his long list of social contributions.
The former NBA star and current ESPN analyst has established the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in his hometown of Detroit in order to help improve Michigan’s troubled education system — and ultimately give Detroit adolescents under his care the best education possible.
The thirty-eight-year-old was motivated to found JRLA due to a concern that Michigan’s stagnant economy is impeding students’ ability to succeed in high school and attend college.
“When the auto industry was around, adults weren’t necessarily going to college to get degrees,” Rose told theGrio. But that industry cannot support the region as it once did. “This domino effect has in turn affected children,” Rose continued.
Indeed, according to a recent study conducted at the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, only 31.9 percent of Detroit’s public high school students graduate in four years. In addition, only 12 percent of adults in Detroit have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
To receive a good education, many students have to attend schools outside their districts. “If I live in a district where I know the school is poor performing, why should I have to make my child go there?,” Rose asserted.
To read more on Jalen Rose‘s wonderful contribution to Detroit, go to theGrio.