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Local News

Thursday, 22 July 2010 7:29 P.M.

Lear Corporation's $5 million dedication gives optimism to youth influence groups

Photo credit: cache.daylife.com

Lear Corporation headquarters in Southfield, Mich.
by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- The Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center played host to a announcement from the Lear Corporation Wednesday that will be of major benefit to the endeavors of the Detroit community.

In an address sponsored by the Arts League of Michigan and Volunteers in Prevention Mentoring (VIP), Lear CEO and Chairman Bob Rossiter pledged $5 million in support of several public areas around the Detroit area, including the Ravendale Community Center and updates to the James T. Hope Playfield on the city’s west side.

Rossiter mentioned, from the perspective of the native Detroiter he was, that the pledge aimed to be one for future improvement throughout the city. “Instead of sitting around and joining in the criticism, why not try to help?” he asked, later clarifying hope that other institutions would follow Lear’s lead and take part. “We’re trying to help people, it’s not about P.R.”

Also addressing the Arts League crowd was a past affiliate of Lear: Mayor Dave Bing, who echoed Rossiter’s wishes on expanded corporate involvement in city renewal and youth mentoring. I just hope what they’re doing today is replicated across this city,” said Bing concerning Lear’s decision. “As they continue to grow, they don’t forget,” he added in reference to the accomplished objective of youth mentoring groups like VIP.

Such funds to areas like Ravendale would be key in supporting education of local youth through programs that are mentor or teacher-based.

Detroit City Councilman James Tate made it known that such aid was key in reaching out to a greater of young Detroiters growing up in rough parts of the city. “Something is missing in many of their lives, and that is hope,” he said.

In the meantime, however, James later warned that such pledges have to hit the streets with those same pledge makers for there to be a motivation of acceptance or change, especially a day after future gubernatorial candidates are announced. “You could make millions, but if people don’t let you into their lives, it’s not working.”

So influential is the community-wide operation of groups like VIP that everyday residents are approaching the organizations about making any kind of contribution. One such interested volunteer was Regina Brown, head of the Flair Model and Talent Management Agency, who mentioned that she managed to set up an initial school visit through VIP for mentoring purposes. She added that her motivation was “To see if my talent can give back to them.”

Amid all the speakers, the underlying goal remained that each moment should contribute to the improvement of their mindset and surroundings and those who need such improvement much more. It was best summed up by a poetic reminder given the Skillman Foundation’s Program Officer Robert Thornton: “[It’s] just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.”

 

 

 

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