Although Detroit PAL is known mainly for athletics, we take great pride in our academic and leadership programs. This fall, Deonte Sparks and his family were able to take part in our ‘Pictures of Hope’ program. The program, created by Linda Solomon, aimed at having children take pictures of their hopes and dreams for their future and the future of the city of Detroit.
Deonte was paired up with Sergeant Perkins of the Detroit Police Department and took a picture for his hope for “more police officers.” The nine-year-old has had many exciting opportunities as a result of this program. He has been able to be a part of radio interviews, newspaper interviews, an unveiling ceremony, and even got to meet former Detroit Lions player, Rob Sims! Deonte is enjoying all of the excitement and even stated that it has made him feel famous!
“With Pictures of Hope, PAL has shown these children that police are good people, they are here to help us and are our friends,” said Danielle Sparks, Deonte’s mother, “They have shown these children that they care about them.”
All of the children in the program were given a camera to continue taking pictures after the program had ended. “I always wanted a camera!” said Deonte, “I have taken pictures at the Motown Museum, the Nature Center and at home.”
In addition to taking part in our ‘Pictures of Hope’ program, Deonte also plays football for the Detroit Chargers, is a member of the Boy Scouts and attends Burton International School. Even though Deonte has a busy schedule, he earned a 4.0 GPA on his last report card! His mother says the key is staying on schedule. “I make sure I do all my homework before we do to football practice,” said Deonte.
The young football player stated that his favorite subjects were math and science, but when he grows up, he would like to be a DJ because he loves music and dancing!
Perhaps a career in photography is in the works for this young man as well. Deonte is a great example of a young athlete working hard on the field, in school and in other hobbies outside of both! The busy nine-year-old shows no signs of slowing down!