Robert and Ellen Thompson formed the Thompson Foundation in 1999 with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Thompson-McCully Company, Michigan’s largest asphalt paving company. The mission of the foundation is to help low-income people rise out of poverty and become self-sufficient. With a passion directed at urban education, the Thompson’s set out to create educational opportunities for Detroit youth.
Since the first University Prep school opened in 2000, the Thompsons have funded eight state-of-the-art charter schools within downtown Detroit seven of which are a part of U Prep School System.
U Prep Schools is grateful to the Thompson Foundation for so much, including leasing the buildings for only $1 a year on the promise that the schools maintain at least a 90-percent graduation rate and a 90-percent college admissions rate. This powerful campaign to produce vibrant, high-achieving, college-ready youth across metro Detroit has since been referred to as the “90/90 Movement,” a standard now in urban education.
U Prep Schools would not be the successful school system it is today, without the generosity and past support of the Thompson Foundation. However, to ensure the viability of U Prep’s tomorrow, we look to the philanthropic community of Metro Detroit for continued support. Even in the best of times, Michigan invests less in charter schools than it does in traditional public schools. Currently charter schools receive only about $7,200 per student. Charter schools tend to do more with less because we have lower central office and administrative costs; in other words, we put our money into lower class sizes (18 students per class) and student-focused expenditures.
Still, state funding will not fully fund U Prep Schools’ enriched curricula. Every year, we come together as a community to raise the money required to preserve our schools’ offerings, small class sizes and unique culture.
90/90 CLUB CONTRIBUTIONS ARE EARMARKED FOR
To add arts to the STEAM program ($30,000 to expand programming K-12; currently K-5 at one of seven schools).
So that U Prep Schools student debaters can compete on the national stage ($25,000 annually—for travel and fees).
To support athletics programs across all seven campuses with a particular focus on growing the all-new football program at UPSM. ($10,000 for uniforms, pads, helmets and equipment for varying sports programs).
So that students can fill the gap between aid and actual tuition costs.
To continue to grow the robust program which allows for U Prep Schools students to begin traveling the world as early as sixth grade. A graduation requirement for all U Prep students. ($20,000 annually to support scholarships, so that ALL students can meet the study abroad requirement).
Please consider giving a gift of ANY size to University Prep Schools. Those who give at least $90 a month will be part of the 90/90 Club and will be afforded special benefits and opportunities to interact with students, staff and fellow donors.
University Prep Schools have received generous contributions over the past ten years from foundations, corporations, and hundreds of individuals. Below is a list of some of the larger foundations that have supported both UPA and UPSM:
Your tax-deductible donation is essential to the schools’ continued success.
Please contact Josephine Cook, Director of Development and Marketing by phone: (313) 247-5247, or Email.