(08/22/2014)—Ten years ago, William Brehm, a philanthropist and Fordson High School alumnus, founded the Brehm Scholars Program. While directly covering the costs of higher education for a select group of Fordson graduates, the program has also inspired many other Fordson students to reach goals that previously seemed unattainable. Now, Mr. Brehm, an avid music lover, is broadening his impact by granting $17,000 to the district-wide choir program.
This grant was sparked by the Fordson High School vocal ensemble director, Matthew Laura, who applied to the Dearborn Education Foundation for $30,000 in funding to upgrade decrepit risers, aging recording equipment, and worn out uniforms. The foundation used its inaugural Green Tie event to spotlight Mr. Laura’s request (one of many it receives each year). In the audience that night, Mr. Brehm saw another opportunity to help his alma mater and its district. Thus, a partnership between Mr. Brehm, the Dearborn Public Schools’ district (contributing $6,500), and the foundation (contributing the remaining $6,500) was launched.
This grant will insure that there is continuity of equipment between Dearborn’s three traditional high schools. In addition, with upgraded recording equipment, the choir can improve its performances as well as submit audition recordings for performance opportunities at local, national, and international events. Perhaps most importantly, the new risers will give students a safe, stable platform on which to practice their craft.