Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) is a high school on the northwest side of Detroit that strives to be an environmental pillar in the local community and set an example for those around them. 

Tamika McCombs, scholar enrollment coordinator and business manager at JRLA, said, “If our students are interested and engaged in sustainability initiatives, others will be too – it’s a team effort.” 

As a former fourth and fifth grade science teacher, Tamika was immediately interested when she heard about DTE’s MIGreenPower program. The program enables any DTE Electric customer, including institutions like JRLA, to attribute a portion of their electricity use to Michigan-made wind and solar. 

“MIGreenPower was the fuel that I needed to get started, because I already had some underlying ideas on sustainability for the school,” said Tamika. “Part of my job is student recruiting, and I’ve been looking for new ways to enhance JRLA’s access to environmental awareness and impact, which I know will be attractive to new scholars and families.

In addition to their exciting new MIGreenPower enrollment, DTE recently gave JRLA a grant to help replace some of the lighting in the school with more energy-efficient LED lighting. The school also has a STEM coordinator who hosts biodomes in his classroom to demonstrate how plants decrease carbon emissions; he even built a community garden outside the school for the students to help grow and maintain. 

Tamika said JRLA’s principal, Wendie Lewis, is enthusiastic about any environmental initiatives the students or staff come up with. The school is currently working to reinstate their recycling program which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We are slowly working towards a more sustainable, environmentally friendly building for our students,” said Tamika. 


To learn more about DTE’s MIGreenPower program, visit www.migreenpower.com.