SER Metro-Detroit
Service. Employment. Redevelopment.          

18 Graduates from SER Detroit YouthBuild Learning Academy

DETROIT, MI-July 06, 2018 –The SER Detroit YouthBuild Learning Academy (SYLA) hosted its annual Graduation and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 15, 2018. Family, friends and SER partners gathered at the SER Workforce Center for the award ceremony, lunch, and dessert. The graduation recognized 18 graduates that demonstrate the significant impact SER has on young people today.   

Eva Garza Dewaelsche, President and CEO of SER Metro-Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc., Ann Leen, Assistant Vice President of Youth Services, and Donald Mullins, Youth Education Coordinator welcomed and presented the graduates with their diplomas. “Our graduates have shown amazing perseverance in reaching their goal, and we at SER are so proud that we were able to play a role in their lives to help them accomplish this milestone, said Garza Dewaelsche during her welcome.

Donald Mullins, Youth Education Coordinator stated “It’s been a great experience to see how far these students have come and how hard each of them has worked. Their lives are changed forever now that they are high school graduates and doors which were closed to them are now open. Their future success is no longer limited, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Key highlights: SYLA recognized 18 graduates. Six students received High School diplomas, ten YouthBuilders received their GED, five have moved on to either employment opportunities or secondary education. One graduate is an apprentice with the Asbestos Abatement Workers Local 207; four are attending Wayne County Community District (WCCCD) and Henry Ford College; four graduates are gainfully employed with Avenue Grill, W&G Properties, Greening of Detroit, and the Cobo Hall.  Additionally, two former graduates of SYLA were recognized for completing their associate’s degrees in General Education from WCCCD and employed at Safe Management and Detroit Public Schools Community District, respectively.

Graduating Class:  Ali Almeraisi, Antoinette Brown, Nahyja Brown, Johnathan Gonzalez, Frederick Harris, Mariely Jiminian, James Johnson, Briana Matten, Brenden Miller, Ernesto Montanez, Emmanuel Newson, Destiny Plowecki, Stefan Ragland, Ariel Shaw, John Spencer, Sara Szuch, Daquon Wilkinson, Michael Williams.

Special Guests: Vanessa Samuelson, Director of Learning and Reporting from the McGregor Fund, Terry Campbell, Communication Director from the Office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Doug Henderson, Senior Superintendent, O’Brien Construction Company, Inc.


About SER Metro-Detroit
SER Metro Detroit, Jobs for Progress, Inc. (SER) is a community-based organization that believes in the potential of every individual. For the past 47 years, SER has assisted thousands of at-risk and disadvantaged residents from across the City of Detroit and the region in becoming self-sufficient through quality employment, education and training programs. For more information visit