As a student at Cornerstone Schools, I was grateful for all of the opportunities I was afforded. I can distinctly remember an essay contest in 7th grade entitled, “My American Hero” where we were asked to write about our own personal hero’s in our lives. I chose to write about Mr. Clark Durant because I truly admire his work with Cornerstone. Of course, I did not know him personally at the time, but just knowing what he was capable of when it came to Cornerstone was enough to help me win the essay contest. A few weeks later, I was in his office having lunch with him and talking about how grateful I was for a school like Cornerstone.
From that moment on, I could see not only how important Cornerstone was to him, but how Cornerstone was important to Detroit as well. The idea, that children should be able to receive a quality education regardless of background and circumstances and to also present an entirely different way of teaching is beyond brilliant. I personally have many people to thank for me being where I am. And I have many days where I think of where I could have been. My mother is a strong advocate for education, but even as a single parent, she could not raise me alone. With the help of Cornerstone Schools, she raised me with very strong morals and beliefs. Yes, I can tell you how much I adore the teachers, I can even tell you how much I love the staff, I could even go as far as to tell you how much I admire the administration and executives at Cornerstone but without the vision of Clark Durant and others, none of this would exist.
Mr. Clark Durant has become my mentor and friend. I am so grateful for our relationship because he always reminds me of the person I would like to become. He is someone who motivates others to become the very best regardless of circumstances, tribulations, and/or environments. He believes in the definite truth that anyone can succeed in this country. It is this motivation that continues to allow me to persevere despite obstacles that state that I should not be anything more than a statistic.
Cornerstone is more than just a school for students. It is an extended family that continues to grow each year. The children in this city need someone to believe in them. The children in this country need someone who just simply believes. The very first step in achieving any goal is the belief that it can be done. Clark Durant believes in this country. I believe that he can help restore this country, revive this city and recapture what we once were.
It should be noted that I graduated from Cornerstone Schools in 2005 and currently attend DePaul University in Chicago, IL. I am studying health science with a concentration in policy and administration and a minor in community service studies. I plan to attend graduate school in the fall as well.
– Cristy Miles