Person of the Week: Sherry Stewart helps mentor Detroit students after school

Posted at 11:01 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 23:01:28-04

Walk inside MacDowell Preparatory Academy and you can't help but notice how well the children are behaved and how quite it is in the hallways.

But what speaks volumes is what's going on inside this room...and it all stems from this woman's love of her community.

Sherry Stewart is a long time Bloomfield Hills substitute teacher...but at least once a week you will find her making her mark on students in this Detroit school...and it's one she calls home.

"I grew up right across the street on Outer Drive drive which you probably passed on Mendota," Stewart said.

It was 14 years ago that the proud MacDowell graduate noticed a need in her old Elementary school. With the help of other graduates and volunteers through the Detroit Jewish Coalition on Literacy, they formed "Friends of MacDowell," a tutoring group that assists Kindergarten through 4th graders.

"it was an opportunity to bring what I or other people see in other schools, to bring it back to MacDowell," she added.

Since then, the more than a dozen volunteers led by Sherry, spend their time with students going from ABC's and 123's to life lessons.

"It's grown. In the beginning, we were just tutoring one-on-one, which was wonderful, but then there was the opportunity to bring speakers, guest authors, field trips, things to school," she said.

Brian McMillan, the Director of New Schools for American Promise Schools, the charter management organization for MacDowell Prepatory Academy, considers Sherry part of the fabric of the school.

"Sherry and the rest of her team of volunteers play an absolutely critical role for all of our scholars," he said. "Not only providing them the reading intervention that they need but also providing them with great role models that they can look up to in the community,."

So, for going back to your old neighborhood for more than a decade, and giving back by investing in our future, Sherry Stewart, you are our person of the week.

"Its a wonderful feeling for all of us, you know, you're like a rock star when you walk in here, the kids are excited."