Detroit Public Schools Volunteer Business Corps

DPS Volunteer Business Corps logo

Businesses/Organizations Optimizing Learning in Detroit (B. O. L. D.)


The mission of the DPS Volunteer Business Corps/B. O. L. D. program is to create robust partnerships between schools and area businesses and community organizations to improve academic achievement in schools throughout the district.

About the program

Area businesses and community groups may forge partnerships with one or more schools in an effort to support the district's rigorous academic plan. The Detroit Public Schools Volunteer Business Corps Office assists with and provides service to all partnerships, which include new partner pairings as well as existing school partnerships that chose to continue under the Volunteer Business Corps/B. O. L. D. model. Relationships are assigned based on the following priority areas.

  • How the business/organization’s specialty aligns with the school’s academic focus
  • Organization’s preferred school(s)
  • Organization’s geographic location in relation to school building
  • Previous school partnerships

Each partnership is unique, because it is designed by the partner organization in conjunction with the school’s principal or designee. Together, schools and their partners are developing programs that specifically address each school’s needs.

Training for Volunteers

Volunteer coordinators from each organization are required to attend a training session prior to starting their school assignment. Because seating is limited, we request that volunteers RSVP for training sessions to: (313) 870-3799 or

The DPS Volunteer Business Office can also bring the training to groups of 30 or more. For information, call the office at (313) 870-3799 or e-mail:

Background Checks

Any volunteer who will be working with or around students is required to have a background check. The checks can be conducted at any training session. Background checks cost $58.75, and payment should be in the form of Money Order, Cashier's Check or Business Check, payable to Detroit Public Schools.

Fingerprint Application Information Form

To learn more, call (313) 870-3799

Contact Us:
Phone: (313) 870-3799


Preparing for your partnership

Training is an important part of ensuring success. The Detroit Public Schools Volunteer Business Corps Office will offer training for businesses, organizations and school leadership teams, so that the partnerships will be beneficial for all parties. The Business Corps Office will offer support to schools and their partners, once those relationships have been established.

Partnership Requirements

Companies are required to choose TWO of the four following partnership models, in addition to other required program participation.


  • Provide tutors who focus on reading, writing, math, social studies and/or science for no more than five students per session. 
  • Required contact time minimum is 12 hours per student, per semester.
    The structure can be tailored to fit school and company needs, example: one person offering one hour of tutoring for 12 weeks or two hours every other week, etc.

Education to Life

  • Provide job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships or employment opportunities for students.
  • Guide students toward future careers through exposure to the organization’s specialty.
  • Assist students in gaining knowledge about the job-search process, the interview process, college application and scholarship seeking, employment skills and resume writing.

    Opportunities can include using extra-curricular activities that will enhance academic achievement, including experiences that can connect students to collegiate opportunities or career experiences
    • Sailing
    • Golf league
    • Music
    • Dance
    • Chess
    • Art


  • Provide weekly one-on-one mentoring of a student.

School Beautification/Facility Improvement

  • Coordinate projects to improve the learning environment twice a semester. Projects could include remodeling of a classroom, implementing a sustainability/greening project, sponsoring or facilitating environmental education projects, school building or classroom repairs and school grounds upkeep.


Participate in a one-day school service project

Work together on annual school cleanup/school enhancement event. This would be a district-wide, one-day event that would take place a day prior to the beginning of the school year. Business representatives, along with the school community, including parents, teachers and staff, would be expected to join together for this one-day project. School leaders and their corporate partners would design an appropriate project.

Participate in annual partner recognition event

DPS will recognize school partners through an annual recognition/appreciation event. The event will be sponsored by a program partner.

Other ways to help…

Following are some optional projects for enhancing your school partnership. They are not required.

  • In-Kind-Contributions:  To be determined in consultation with the school leadership team. Examples could include educational supplies, newspaper and magazine subscriptions or supplies for specialized programs, such as culinary, music, art, etc.
  • Leadership Exchange: Principal/CEO for a Day – The school principal and the organization’s executive will switch jobs for a day to exchange ideas and best practices.
  • Student Incentives:  Offer incentives to improve student attendance, and academic performance including field trips, tickets to events, internships, book bags, supplies, etc.
  • Professional Development:  Offer teachers and principals professional development opportunities with business employees. Provide funds needed to attend seminars.
  • Scholarships:  Offer scholarships to qualified students to attend college, or other education experiences, such as seminars, competitions and conferences.
  • Speakers: Sponsor speakers (authors, community leaders, etc) to visit the school and engage with students.
  • Community Exposure:  sponsor or chaperone field trips to cultural institutions, children’s hospitals, markets, parks, offer class tours of your company. Serve as guest speakers in the school.

Financial Sponsorship Only

Businesses/Organizations may also choose to be overall Volunteer Business Corps/B.O.L.D. sponsors, with the proceeds used to cover printing, marketing, program support and administrative costs.

Platinum Level
$10,000 or more in either cash or in-kind donations (This is approximately $1,000 a month for the school year)
Gold Level
$1,000 or more in either cash or in-kind donations
Silver Level
$500 or more in either cash or in-kind donations

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Partner responsibilities

Partners are responsible for:

  • Completing the web-based interest form
  • Each volunteer must attend a partnership training session
  • Designate a liaison to work with the leadership of the assigned school on the details of the partnership
  • Ensuring that each volunteer completes the required background check, whose cost must be covered by either the volunteer or the organization.

Business Corps Partners To Date (Partial Listing)

  • 21st Century Digital Learning Environments
  • ATTC Enterprise LLC
  • Barnstormers Flight Support
  • Botech Corporation
  • Brown Rehabilitation Management, Inc.
  • Caring for Families, Inc.
  • CCW Headquarters
  • Cimple
  • Circle of Friends Youth Foundation
  • CK Elite Protection
  • Community School Connection Inc.
  • Compuware
  • Crain's Detroit Business
  • Crest Lincoln Mercury Inc.
  • Davenport University
  • Destiny Business Solutions
  • Detroit Chassis LLC
  • Detroit Council PTA
  • Detroit Impact, Inc.
  • Detroit Lions
  • Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Detroit's Next Generation Inc.
  • Doubletree Fort Shelby
  • DTE Energy
  • Dust to Life Records LLC
  • E-Business Strategies
  • Education One, CDC
  • Emmanuel Church of God in Christ
  • Evans Distribution Systems
  • Excellent Schools Detroit
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Forman Mills
  • Friends of Detroit City Airport Community Development Corp
  • Frito Lay
  • Gardner-White Furniture
  • Good People Popcorn
  • H&H Landscaping & Snow Removal
  • Healthy Kidz Inc.
  • Higher Praise Dance Academy
  • Johnston & Johnston, LLC
  • JP Morgan Chase Bank
  • Kaching Kaching
  • KPMG
  • Lambent Risk Management Services, Inc.
  • Madonna University
  • Marriott
  • Michigan State University
  • Milan Tigers Youth Organization
  • Mr. Alan’s
  • Office Depot
  • OmniCare Health Plan Inc.
  • Operation HOPE
  • Participants of Life Obtaining Goals
  • PNC Bank
  • Powerlink Facilities Management Services
  • Preservation of Endangered Mammals
  • Prestige Enterprise Group
  • Quicken Loans
  • RH Stacy and Associates
  • Rickshaw Detroit, LLC
  • Romail Bradley
  • S.O.A.R. Youth Development
  • Safehaven for Young Teen Mothers & Women
  • Sam's Club
  • Sharon B's Hosiery Shop
  • Shavon in the City
  • Sisters Inspiring Sisters Mentoring Group
  • SOAR Youth Development
  • T.E.A.M. Pursuit
  • Tapper's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry
  • The Detroit Salt Company
  • The Gold Mine
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • University of Michigan School of Education
  • VIP Mentoring
  • Visionary Horizons Natural Health and Massage
  • WJBK Fox 2
  • Wright Way Services & Supplies, Inc.