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MREACH Year End Celebration

RHS Shines at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Students, parents, guests and University of Michigan faculty gathered at the University of Michigan’s prestigious Ross School of business to celebrate the completion of this year’s MREACH program and honor the recipients of the esteemed Robert Koonce award, Romulus High School faculty member, Linda Denham, and Romulus High School alumna, Addell Austin-Anderson (class of ’74).

MREACH (Michigan Ross School of Business Enriching Academics in Collaboration with High Schools) is a program that provides career enrichment, academic preparation, and hands-on business activities for underrepresented groups, including first-generation college-bound students, and students from lower socioeconomic standing.  Founded in 2006, MREACH brings Michigan high school students to Ross for a series of active learning experiences focused on the fundamentals of business and also offers insight into the college planning process and careers in business.

Romulus High School students have been involved in MREACH since September 2013.  This year's 2015-2016 senior participants (see group photo standing left to right):  Kenneth Gajefski, Rayshon Akins, Kingsley Enechukwu, Linda Denham, Diante' Hill, Adrian Maloy, Johnny Toliver were recognized for successfully completing the selective program.  (Nia Pittman, a junior at RHS, is not pictured).  Kingsley Enechukwu received a standing ovation from the audience for being named a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar as he received his MREACH certificate.  Several students spoke about how much they enjoyed the MREACH experience, including Adrian Maloy and Kingsley Enechukwu. Adrian Maloy stated, “MREACH has provided me with a perspective that can’t be taught, explained or imagined, only experienced.” The program affords them the opportunity to learn about different aspects of business, explore possible careers, network with business professionals at a variety of corporations and make meaningful and lasting friendships. 

Another highlight of the event was the presentation of the Robert Koonce award.  Robert Koonce is the beloved founder of MREACH, who passed away unexpectedly in 2009. The award recognizes individuals, who have been strong advocates of the MREACH program and tireless supporters and mentors to students.

Award recipient Linda Denham is the Speech-Language Pathologist at Romulus High School.  She has spearheaded the school’s involvement in MREACH since 2013.  Receiving the Robert Koonce award from Ross is a particular honor for Ms. Denham, as she is an alumna of The University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

Ms. Denham's volunteer experiences at RHS include: Liaison for Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, Inc. (since its inception in September 2010), Liaison for the Michigan Ross Enriching Academics in Collaboration with High Schools (MREACH) Program at U-M Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor Campus, and Founding Member of Scholarship Opportunities and Alumni Resources for Romulus High School (S.O.A.R) established as a nonprofit organization in April 2015 with the State of Michigan.

During the ceremony, it was announced that graduating seniors Diante 'Hill, Kingsley Enechukwu and Johnny Toliver will be among the MREACH participants who will attend the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Campus in the Fall 2016.

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is the nation’s #4 ranked undergraduate business program, according to US News & World Reports, and #12 ranked Graduate Business Program.