University Prep Schools Hosts Successful “Full STEAM Ahead” Fundraiser with Cynthia Ford and Nolan Finley


Katherine Cockrel
Ignition Media Group // 313.550.4483

Detroit charter school celebrates science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education

Detroit, Mich. (Oct. 8, 2014) – Celebrating its commitment to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education, University Prep Schools, one of Detroit’s longest-standing charter school systems, co-hosted a fundraiser with local philanthropist, Cynthia Ford and media celebrity, Nolan Finley, to benefit its schools’ STEAM programs. The event, titled “Full STEAM Ahead,” was held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the University Prep Science & Math High School in Detroit.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome of our first fall fundraiser,” said Margaret Trimer-Hartley, Chief External Relations Officer of University Prep Schools, which oversees operations at UPSM and its sister district, University Prep Academy. “The tremendous amount of support we’ve received from the Detroit community is invaluable to our schools and most importantly, our students.”

Among other memorable moments throughout the evening, a popular highlight was the “Movers, Shakers and Bakers” auction, during which, local celebrities such as Huel Perkins, Rochelle Riley and Finley, among others, live auctioned baked goods that they had personally made. Of the $26,000 in donations that the fundraiser ultimately generated for STEAM education, approximately $7,000 was acquired through the sale of auctioned cakes and pies. Other high-ticket items that garnered large donations included a Genze electric scooter and Mackinac Bridge/Lear Jet experience.

“There are many worthy causes that deserve the community’s time and attention, but investing in the proper education of our youth is among the most important,” said Finley, conservative editorial page editor and columnist at the Detroit News. “It was truly rewarding to be a part of this event and contribute to the advancement of STEAM programs for Detroit students.”

Requesting a suggested donation of $125 per ticket, the event garnered more than 200 guests, and was attended by some of the community’s most prominent members. Cynthia Ford, Ornstein and Finley made special remarks about the importance of STEAM education throughout the program. Sponsors of the evening included JP Morgan Chase, Corrigan Oil Co., Genze by Mahindra, Deloitte and Macomb Mechanical.

About University Prep Schools
Known as one of Detroit’s longest-standing charter school systems, University Prep Schools (U Prep Schools) launched in 2000, with the opening of its first tuition-free public charter, University Prep Academy High School. Today, the University Prep Schools network is comprised of two districts, University Prep Academy (UPA) and University Prep Science & Math (UPSM), and seven campuses. Serving more than 3,000 students, the University Prep Schools system prepares students for the world around them through a unique combination of individualized and expeditionary learning models that extends education beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. The schools foster a holistic approach to learning that is rooted in providing its students access, opportunity and success. Follow University Prep Schools on Facebook at and on Twitter at For more information about University Prep schools, visit