Jalen Rose has enjoyed an illustrious career as a basketball aficionado both on and off the court. As a member of the legendary Fab Five basketball team of the University of Michigan, playing 13 years in the NBA and then becoming one of the most popular personalities on ESPN/ABC. However, it’s his legacy that shows his greatest impact especially in his hometown of Detroit (What up doe?) with his charter school, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.
Founded in September 2011, along with his partner Michael Carter, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is an open enrollment, tuition-free public charter high school on the northwest side of Detroit. The Academy currently serves over 400 ninth through twelfth-grade scholars and has nearly 500 alumni from metro Detroit. Amazingly, JRLA has a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduates. Using a 9 t0 16 model, the scholars of JRLA receive support through high school graduation and college graduation with their College Success initiative. The faculty and staff are committed to offering a world-class educational model, in a state-of-the-art facility, for African American students who are often overlooked for such opportunities in cities like Detroit.
It’s Rose’s vision to educate, inspire, and develop generations of scholars who go out to help change their families, their community, and the world. As an advocate of education, he could not conceive of any other way to transform his hometown.
“I wanted to make a major and impactful change in my community, and I felt like doing that through public education,” said Rose in a video for BET’s Offseason celebrating Black History Month in partnership with Facebook. “That’s why I started the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.”
JRLA is a beacon of light to a community that has had its fair share of challenges. “We’re bringing up the lower-middle class, we’re bringing up the poor, we’re setting standards, we’re achieving a lot, and this is something that we’re going to back on and be proud of because we’re changing lives and we’re changing the community,” said Rose.
For close to a decade, the work of JRLA has been to uplift the Black community of Detroit and by the look of things, they’re just getting started.
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for PUMA