Detroit schools gearing up for homecoming event honoring district alumni

For Gregory Dalton, it's not enough to just be in the presence of stars. He has aspirations of being one himself. 

"It feels like I’ve worked so hard to get to that point and now that I’m finally there – it’s like a great finishing touch to my senior year," he said.

Dalton will have the chance to showcase a dance piece he choreographed himself later in May when he performs in front of a star-studded homecoming event celebrating Detroit Public Schools. The district's "Come Home" gala looks to honor the alumni whose roots reach all the way back to Detroit Public Schools.

If DPSCD has their way, it'll be a glamorous evening in the Motor City that will both acknowledge and celebrate the individuals that have passed through its halls.

"We are a great city with a huge jazz experience, a huge dance community, actors, singers, musicians all come from this place and we've all grown and we've all developed our skills and craft here in our communities and in our schools," said Erika Stowall, a dance teacher at King High School. 

From rapper Big Sean to Hollywood actress Chante Adams, the weekend of May 19 won't pull any punches in its effort to honor the district's legacy. 

The Hall of Fame Gala will start that Thursday with "An Evening of Fine Arts" at the Fox Theatre. Then on Friday, May 20, a meet and greet will be held outside the Detroit Athletic Club. On Saturday, bike rides, block parties, and the evening gala will take center stage. 

A full itinerary can be found here

"Our students, we know how talented they are and there's going to be someone on that stage that is going to be a superstar," said Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

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Among the honorees that will be inducted is the late Allie Willis, who co-wrote hit songs 'September' and 'Boogie Wonderland' for Earth Wind & Fire. A graduate of Mumford High School, paying homage to figures like her and her roots is what the night will be all about. 

"Just really being acknowledged and letting people know that Detroit Public Schools or community district as it’s called now, was or has a stigma about it, but people have really grown and develop to have a community that respects and loves you," said Stowall.