By Ariana Taylor Staff Writer
The students of Renaissance High School all wanted to know.
Rumors had been spreading for days about what famous person would be visiting Renaissance on Oct. 7 through the nonprofit organization, Get Schooled. Speculations went from Trey Songz to Reggie Bush, yet no one knew anything for sure except that Taco Bell would be giving out free tacos on the same day.
“I knew the person coming was going to be someone with a football background because they asked the football team to be on stage to ask questions,” senior Jimmie Cannon said.
At 97%, Renaissance has the highest attendance rate over any middle or high school across Detroit Public Schools for the first three weeks of the year, winning the “Start Strong” attendance challenge sponsored by Get Schooled and Graduate for Màs.
To congratulate Renaissance for winning, Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron spoke about the importance of getting to school on time and graduating from high school.
“You have to have an education and attendance is important no matter what career you pursue,” Ebron said. “Football doesn’t last forever.”
Kevin Smith, the Detroit Public Schools chief of staff to the emergency manger Jack Martin, introduced the surprise guest.
Students cheered and held up signs when Ebron was announced and players from the football and volleyball teams asked questions while sitting on stage.
Afterward, Ebron took “selfies” with the athletes on stage and then the rest of the crowd, promising to post them on social media and follow back a few who tag themselves.
“I’m pretty excited for Taco Bell,” Rafael Galindez said. “I like tacos, especially when they’re free.”
Graduate for Màs, a program co-created with Get Schooled and Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, had a taco truck for lunch, serving Doritos Loco tacos.
Get Schooled is a national funded program that uses celebrities to advocate the belief that students have the power to shape and improve their future with the right information and motivation. Celebrities that visited schools across the country include Big Sean, the OMG Girlz, Michelle Obama, Kendrick Lamar, Naya Rivera and Terrance J.