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The Skillman Foundation and Parade Company Announce Detroit Student Winner of the 31st Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest

“World Bus Design” Float Designed by Emerson Elementary-Middle School 4th Grader, Tahiry Gosby, to Debut in America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner White

Photos by Paul Engstrom

DETROIT (17 November 2022) – The Skillman Foundation and The Parade Company today announced 4th grade student Tahiry Gosby, from Emerson Elementary-Middle School in Detroit, as grand-prize winner of the 31st Annual Skillman Foundation Float Design Contest. The float designed by Gosby titled “World Bus Design” will make its way down Woodward Avenue during America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner White. Five Detroit students were awarded honorable mentions, and their incredible work will be displayed around the border of the float.

Tahiry Gosby and President and CEO, Angelique Power, witness the unveiling of Tahiry’s float.

“Our purpose at The Skillman Foundation is to listen to young people and to support them to achieve their boldest dreams. In turn, they inspire us with their creativity, tenacity, positivity, and their fresh take on what’s possible for our collective future. That’s exactly what this float design contest is all about. We reached out to Detroit kids and asked them what a world designed by youth would look like. We’re ecstatic to see their genius come to life,” said Angelique Power, president & CEO of The Skillman Foundation.

“The Skillman Foundation float unveil is a special day for us each year at The Parade Company,” said Tony Michaels, president & CEO of The Parade Company. “It is a thrill to celebrate these incredibly talented young student artists and we look forward to showcasing the beautiful ‘World Bus Design’ float on Thanksgiving morning.”

This year’s Skillman Foundation Float Contest theme, “A Perfect World, Built by Kids!” encouraged students to design what a happy world created by kids would look like. Gosby’s “World Bus Design” features a colorful school bus with wheels made of peace signs. Smiling students are riding in the school bus and words are floating above including “peaceful love,” “respect,” “bully free” and “fair.” Brought to life by artists at The Parade Company, Gosby and her family will ride on the beautiful float on Thanksgiving morning.

Tahiry Gosby standing on her “World Bus” float along with her family, art teacher, and Angelique Power.

Hundreds of submissions were received from students in grades 4 through 8 enrolled in Detroit Public Schools or Detroit Charter School Programs across the city. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the partnership between The Parade Company and The Skillman Foundation which inspires young artists by giving them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their vision come to life as a parade float.

Five honorable mention winners were also selected and include:

  • Mack Hall, 5th grade, University Prep Art & Design Elementary School, “A World Where Giants Exist”
  • Iyanna Harris, 7th grade, Legacy Charter Academy, “Today vs. Tomorrow”
  • Malcolm Jones, 7th grade, Legacy Charter Academy, “We Can Make a Change”
  • Dylan Key, 5th grade, Bates Academy, “Build New Things”
  • Monica Ruiz-Olivarez, 6th grade, Clippert Middle School, “The Perfect World”

The Skillman Foundation has granted over $730-million to support the needs of children and the aspirations of young people across its 63-year history. It listens intently to Detroiters to concentrate its funding and advocacy where it will have the greatest impact on children and their futures. To this end, the Foundation is focused on supporting youth, community, and educator power to influence education policy and systems change.

Themed “Our Great City! Detroit!!” America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White is featured annually on WDIV Local 4, including a one-hour syndicated national broadcast reaching more than 185 television markets across the country. 760 WJR’s Paul W. Smith and Audacy WOMC 104.3 also broadcast parade shows.

Voted as America’s Number One Holiday Parade by the 2018 and 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner White takes place on Thursday, November 24. WDIV-Local 4’s live coverage begins at 6 a.m. with pre-parade coverage, followed by a parade pre-show beginning at 9 a.m. America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner White will air live on WDIV-Local 4 from 10 a.m. – noon. For more information, visit theparade.org.

About The Parade Company

Founded in 1984, The Parade Company is a not-for-profit organization governed by the Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation whose board of directors is comprised of key civic and corporate leaders in the greater Detroit region. The Parade Company is celebrating 96 years of Parade tradition in Detroit and is committed to funding, creating and executing the best family events in Michigan. The Parade Company staff, board of directors and thousands of parade volunteers work year-round to bring a wide variety of magnificent events to the City of Detroit and the region including the Ford Fireworks, Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot, and America’s Thanksgiving Parade® presented by Gardner White. Follow The Parade Company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About The Skillman Foundation

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that invests in the brilliance and power of Detroit youth. It has granted over $730-million and has served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice. It is in the process of developing a new strategic framework, co-designed with Detroit youth and their champions. Follow updates on skillman.org and on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The Skillman Foundation

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that serves as a fierce champion of Detroit children. The Foundation works to ensure Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations by strengthening K-12 public education, afterschool learning opportunities, and college and career pathways.

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