Students Get Early Start on Remodeling Osborn High

GM Student Corps team cleans school courtyard to instill pride and leave a legacy
Jul 16, 2015 12:25 PM ET

DETROIT, July 16, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Ten GM Student Corps interns who attend Osborn High School are spending their summer cleaning up and remodeling the school, part of an overall makeover in the east side community expected to attract 12,000 volunteers early next month.  

The GM Student Corps, a paid internship program, is in its third year of providing scores of southeast Michigan high school students with mentoring by General Motors’ retirees integrated with beautification projects planned and executed by the students in their schools and communities.

As part of the courtyard makeover, the Osborn team is building benches, installing solar panels and repairing an existing pond as well as repairing, cleaning, organizing and painting an unmaintained greenhouse. The students are also learning how to grow vegetables, lessons they can apply at home and in their communities.

“The students are very interested in leaving a legacy,” said Osborn GM Student Corps team retiree Deborah Easternhall. “They want to look back on their work and say ‘We did that.’”

From August 3-7, the Osborn team will unite with other GM Student Corps teams for Life Remodeled 2015, a program that each summer focuses on remodeling one Detroit high school and the surrounding community. This year’s $5 million effort by the Detroit-based non-profit is focused on Osborn High, nearby Pulaski Elementary School and 4.5 square miles of the Osborn community. More than 3,000 GM employees have signed up to participate.

In 2014, Life Remodeled oversaw major renovations at Cody High School in northwest Detroit. Volunteers cleaned the school room by room while businesses donated materials and labor for roof repairs, a state-of-the-art medical simulation laboratory, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math lab featuring a $300,000 industrial robot and a new football field valued at $1.2 million, allowing the first home games for the Cody Comets in seven seasons.

“I hope Life Remodeled will be able to do the same type of transformative things that they did at Cody over at Osborn,” said Cody Student Corps lead retiree Dawin Wright. “When the community comes out like that it shows the students and staff that people still care.”

In addition to Osborn and Cody, GM Student Corps schools volunteering in Life Remodeled 2015 include Pontiac High School, Central Collegiate Academy, East Detroit High School, Flint Southwestern Academy, Hamtramck High School, Harper Woods High School, Henry Ford High School, Madison High School, Melvindale High School, River Rouge High School and Van Dyke Lincoln High School – a total of 130 students, 55 GM retirees and 14 college interns from the University of Detroit Mercy and the University of Michigan-Flint.

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